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Trends Genet. 2008 Dec;24(12):613-21. doi: 10.1016/j.tig.2008.09.004. Epub 2008 Oct 25.

Type 2 diabetes: new genes, new understanding.

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Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK.


Over the past two years, there has been a spectacular change in the capacity to identify common genetic variants that contribute to predisposition to complex multifactorial phenotypes such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). The principal advance has been the ability to undertake surveys of genome-wide association in large study samples. Through these and related efforts, approximately 20 common variants are now robustly implicated in T2D susceptibility. Current developments, for example in high-throughput resequencing, should help to provide a more comprehensive view of T2D susceptibility in the near future. Although additional investigation is needed to define the causal variants within these novel T2D-susceptibility regions, to understand disease mechanisms and to effect clinical translation, these findings are already highlighting the predominant contribution of defects in pancreatic beta-cell function to the development of T2D.

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