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10 Genes Linked to Type 2 Diabetes

Researchers Say Findings Could Lead to New Treatments for Diabetes Patients
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

April 26, 2007 -- Researchers have identified 10 genetic variants that may make type 2 diabetes more likely.

The findings may lead to new treatments for type 2 diabetes, note the scientists.

They included Michael Boehnke, PhD, who is the Richard G. Cornell Collegiate Professor of Biostatistics at the University of Michigan School of Public Health.

Boehnke's team studied DNA from 2,376 people with type 2 diabetes and from 2,432 people without diabetes in Finland.

The researchers discovered four gene variants that were more common in the diabetes patients. Those gene variants are found near the following genes: IGF2BP2, CDKAL1, and CDKN2A/CDKN2B.

The scientists also confirmed six other gene variants that had previously been linked to type 2 diabetes. Those gene variants are located near the TCF7L2, SLC30A8, HHEX, FTO, PPARG, and KCNJ11 genes.

All in all, that adds up to 10 genetic variants that can be "confidently identified" as being associated with type 2 diabetes risk, write Boehnke and colleagues.

The gene variants may make good targets for new type 2 diabetes treatments, Boehnke's team writes in Science Express, the advance online edition of Science.

Another new report on the genetics of type 2 diabetes appears in the advance online edition of Nature Genetics.

The researchers included Valgerdur Steinthorsdottir, PhD, of Decode Genetics, a biopharmaceutical company in Iceland.

They screened genes from 6,351 people with type 2 diabetes and 14,829 people without diabetes in Iceland, Denmark, Philadelphia, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and Ghana.

The study shows that the CDKAL1 gene variant was associated with type 2 diabetes in people of European or Chinese ancestry.

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