Type 2 diabetes: new genes, new understanding

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


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.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Humans
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Quantitative Trait, Heritable