Large-scale association analyses identify new loci influencing glycemic traits and provide insight into the underlying biological pathways

Nat Genet. 2012 Sep;44(9):991-1005. doi: 10.1038/ng.2385. Epub 2012 Aug 12.


Through genome-wide association meta-analyses of up to 133,010 individuals of European ancestry without diabetes, including individuals newly genotyped using the Metabochip, we have increased the number of confirmed loci influencing glycemic traits to 53, of which 33 also increase type 2 diabetes risk (q < 0.05). Loci influencing fasting insulin concentration showed association with lipid levels and fat distribution, suggesting impact on insulin resistance. Gene-based analyses identified further biologically plausible loci, suggesting that additional loci beyond those reaching genome-wide significance are likely to represent real associations. This conclusion is supported by an excess of directionally consistent and nominally significant signals between discovery and follow-up studies. Functional analysis of these newly discovered loci will further improve our understanding of glycemic control.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / genetics*
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Fasting / blood
  • Fasting / metabolism
  • Female
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genome-Wide Association Study / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics*
  • Mice
  • Osmolar Concentration
  • Quantitative Trait Loci* / physiology


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin

Grants and funding