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Hum Mol Genet. 2006 Oct 15;15 Spec No 2:R202-9.

Type-2 diabetes: a cocktail of genetic discovery.

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  • 1Medical Research Council, Mammalian Genetics Unit, Harwell, Oxfordshire OX11 0RD, UK.


Diabetes is one of the most challenging health problems of the 21st century with an alarming increase in the prevalence of type-2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) and associated conditions such as hypertension, dyslipidemias and obesity. T2DM is a complex genetic disease comprised of many metabolic disorders with a common phenotype of glucose intolerance. Patients with T2DM would have inherited a variety of different genetic factors that together with environmental factors combine as the primary cause. This complicates the genetic study of the disease and means that different methodological approaches are needed if we hope to identify susceptibility genes and genetic variants. The biochemical and physiological processes that underpin T2DM are still unclear although most certainly involve impairment in insulin secretion and insulin action. In this review, we will discuss the most exciting advances in understanding the genetics of T2DM by looking at recent discoveries employing human association studies and candidate genes arising from animal models.

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