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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Diabetes: from phenotypes to genotypes.

Diabetes mellitus comprises a heterogeneous group of diseases which have chronic hyperglycaemia in common as well as the resulting microvascular, macrovascular and neurological complications of this condition. Familial studies have provided strong evidence for the existence of genetic determinants in the different types of diabetes. In particular, monozygotic twin studies have indicated a higher rate of concordance in non-insulin-dependent (NIDDM) than in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). In IDDM, 8 susceptibility loci have been identified, notably the HLA complex and insulin promotor gene. Rigorous family studies have identified monogenic subtypes representing 10-15% of all NIDDM: MODY2 related to glucokinase gene mutations, MODY1 and MODY3 secondary to mutation of hepatic nuclear factors, and diabetes resulting from deletion or mutation of mitochondrial DNA. Most NIDDM result from polygenic heredity, and susceptibility genes conducive to increased receptivity to deleterious environmental influences are now under investigation, such as beta 3 adrenergic receptor, FABP2 and OB. Precise analysis of phenotypes in the remaining families or systematic screening of the genome could allow the genes of each subtype to be identified. Finally, susceptibility genes for the increased severity and frequency of vascular complications have been identified, such as angiotensin converting enzyme, aldose reductase and aldehyde dehydrogenase genes. This progress has been facilitated by developments in molecular biology.[1]


  1. Diabetes: from phenotypes to genotypes. Guillausseau, P.J., Tielmans, D., Virally-Monod, M., Assayag, M. Diabetes Metab. (1997) [Pubmed]
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