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Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2008 Jul;11(4):385-92. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e328304d970.

The transcription factor 7-like 2 gene and increased risk of type 2 diabetes: an update.

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  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Diabetes and Endocrinology, Lund University, Malmoe, Sweden. Valeri.Lyssenko@med.lu.se



The purpose of this review is to provide a comprehensive evaluation of the most important type 2 diabetes gene to date, transcription factor 7 like-2.


An important step to find genetic causes of type 2 diabetes in 2006 was the identification of the fact that variants in the gene encoding transcription factor 7 like-2 reproducibly increase susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in almost all populations studied. This gene has since then emerged as the most important type 2 diabetes gene. Genetic variants in transcription factor 7 like-2 confer a strong risk of type 2 diabetes possibly mediated by altering expression of transcription factor 7 like-2 in pancreatic islets. Risk variants in the transcription factor 7 like-2 influence insulin secretions both in vitro and in vivo. The risk T allele of this single nucleotide polymorphism also seems to have effects on the enteroinsular axis and the relationship between the incretin hormone glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide and its target hormones, glucagon and insulin. Given transcription factor 7 like-2s' central role in the Wnt signaling pathway, it would be important to define whether the variant is associated with increased or decreased Wnt signaling.


The fact that transcription factor 7 like-2 is by far the strongest type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene to date emphasizes the importance of exploring the potential of manipulating this pathway in future treatment of the disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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