Genetics of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus and Maternal Metabolism

Curr Diab Rep. 2016 Feb;16(2):15. doi: 10.1007/s11892-015-0709-z.


Gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) is defined as abnormal glucose tolerance with onset or first recognition during pregnancy. Women with a history of GDM are at long-term risk for developing type 2 diabetes (T2DM), raising the question to what extent GDM and T2DM share a common genetic architecture. Meta-analysis of candidate gene studies and genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) have identified a number of genes which are reproducibly associated with GDM, including TCF7L2, GCK, KCNJ11, KCNQ1, CDKAL1, IGF2BP2, MTNR1B, and IRS1. These genes are also associated with T2DM. Candidate gene and GWAS have also identified genes associated with maternal metabolic traits, most of which are also associated with metabolic traits in the general population. Two genes, BACE2 and HKDC1, are uniquely associated with maternal metabolic traits. These studies suggest that there are similarities and differences between the genetic architecture of GDM and T2DM and metabolic quantitative traits in pregnant and non-pregnant populations.

Keywords: Candidate gene; Genetics; Genome-wide association study; Gestational diabetes; Pregnancy.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes, Gestational / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Mothers
  • Phenotype
  • Pregnancy
  • Quantitative Trait Loci