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Over the past two years, there has been a spectacular change in the capacity to identify common genetic variants that contribute to predisposition to complex multifactorial phenotypes such as type 2 diabetes (T2D). The principal advance has been the ability to undertake surveys of genome-wide association in large study samples. Through these and related efforts, approximately 20 common variants are now robustly implicated in T2D susceptibility. Current developments, for example in high-throughput resequencing, should help to provide a more comprehensive view of T2D susceptibility in the near future. Although additional investigation is needed to define the causal variants within these novel T2D-susceptibility regions, to understand disease mechanisms and to effect clinical translation, these findings are already highlighting the predominant contribution of defects in pancreatic beta-cell function to the development of T2D.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends in genetics : TIG

Publication Date





613 - 621


Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, University of Oxford, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford, OX3 7LJ, UK.


Humans, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Chromosome Mapping, Quantitative Trait, Heritable, Meta-Analysis as Topic, Genome-Wide Association Study