Genetics of type 2 diabetes

Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2010 Jul;13(4):471-7. doi: 10.1097/MCO.0b013e32833a558d.


Purpose of review: To provide an overview of the genetics of type 2 diabetes in the context of recent progress in the understanding of the genetic architecture of the disease and its applicability to the pathogenesis of the disease as well as efforts to individualize therapy in type 2 diabetes. Efforts are underway to understand how these loci alter measurable physiologic processes in nondiabetic humans. However, it is important to understand the potential pitfalls in such studies and the limitations underlying measurement of insulin secretion and action using qualitative methodologies.

Recent findings: The availability of large population-based cohorts and the ease with which large numbers of common genetic variants can be genotyped has enabled the discovery of multiple loci and pathways associated with type 2 diabetes. Recent efforts examining quantitative traits such as fasting glucose concentrations have led to the discovery of other genes likely to be important in the development of diabetes.

Summary: The past 4 years have witnessed a significant increase in our understanding of genetic predisposition to type 2 diabetes. Hopefully more progress will be made in applying this knowledge to the pathophysiology of type 2 diabetes in the coming years.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Variation*
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci