Genomic insights into the causes of type 2 diabetes.
Lancet (London, England) 2018 ; 391: 2463-2474.
PubMed ID : 29916387
PMCID : 0
Genome-wide association studies have implicated around 250 genomic regions in predisposition to type 2 diabetes, with evidence for causal variants and genes emerging for several of these regions. Understanding of the underlying mechanisms, including the interplay between β-cell failure, insulin sensitivity, appetite regulation, and adipose storage has been facilitated by the integration of multidimensional data for diabetes-related intermediate phenotypes, detailed genomic annotations, functional experiments, and now multiomic molecular features. Studies in diverse ethnic groups and examples from population isolates have shown the value and need for a broad genomic approach to this global disease. Transethnic discovery efforts and large-scale biobanks in diverse populations and ancestries could help to address some of the Eurocentric bias. Despite rapid progress in the discovery of the highly polygenic architecture of type 2 diabetes, dominated by common alleles with small, cumulative effects on disease risk, these insights have been of little clinical use in terms of disease prediction or prevention, and have made only small contributions to subtype classification or stratified approaches to treatment. Successful development of academia-industry partnerships for exome or genome sequencing in large biobanks could help to deliver economies of scale, with implications for the future of genomics-focused research.