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Health

More genes implicated in type 2 diabetes risk

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanJanuary 18, 2010 3:53 AM

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New genetic loci implicated in fasting glucose homeostasis and their impact on type 2 diabetes risk:

Levels of circulating glucose are tightly regulated. To identify new loci influencing glycemic traits, we performed meta-analyses of 21 genome-wide association studies informative for fasting glucose, fasting insulin and indices of beta-cell function (HOMA-B) and insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in up to 46,186 nondiabetic participants. Follow-up of 25 loci in up to 76,558 additional subjects identified 16 loci associated with fasting glucose and HOMA-B and two loci associated with fasting insulin and HOMA-IR. These include nine loci newly associated with fasting glucose (in or near ADCY5, MADD, ADRA2A, CRY2, FADS1, GLIS3, SLC2A2, PROX1 and C2CD4B) and one influencing fasting insulin and HOMA-IR (near IGF1). We also demonstrated association of ADCY5, PROX1, GCK, GCKR and DGKB-TMEM195 with type 2 diabetes. Within these loci, likely biological candidate genes influence signal transduction, cell proliferation, development, glucose-sensing and circadian regulation. Our results demonstrate that genetic studies of glycemic traits can identify type 2 diabetes risk loci, as well as loci containing gene variants that are associated with a modest elevation in glucose levels but are not associated with overt diabetes.

The odds ratios look modest, so any one susceptibility allele shouldn't give you a heart attack. But until sugar binging becomes less of a feature of modern nutrition it seems that this avenue of research will remain robust and worthwhile. Most of the bang-for-your-buck in terms of increased risk for type 2 is probably already evident for people through family history, but perhaps the magical authority of Science will sway those who are blase about pedigrees....

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