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Curr Opin Genet Dev. 2018 Jun;50:68-73. doi: 10.1016/j.gde.2018.02.005. Epub 2018 Feb 24.

Pharmacogenetics and target identification in diabetes.

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Division of Molecular & Clinical Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Dundee, Dundee DD1 9SY, United Kingdom. Electronic address: e.z.pearson@dundee.acuk.


In diabetes, pharmacogenetics can be used both to identify patient subgroups who will have most benefit and/or least harm from a particularly treatment, and to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms of drug action and disease aetiology. There is increasing evidence that genetic variation alters response to diabetes treatments-both in terms of glycaemic response and side effects. This can be seen with dramatic impact on clinical care, in patients with genetic forms of diabetes such as Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young caused by HNF1A mutations, and Neonatal diabetes due to activating mutations in ABCC8 or KCNJ11. Beyond monogenic diabetes, pharmacogenetic variants have yet to impact on clinical practice, yet the effect sizes (e.g. for metformin intolerance and OCT1 variants; or for metformin action and SLC2A2 variants) are potentially of clinical utility, especially if the genotype is already known at the point of prescribing. Over the next few years, increasing cohort sizes and linkage at scale to electronic medical records will provide considerable potential for stratification and novel target identification in diabetes.

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