Insights into type 1 diabetes provided by genetic analyses.
ABSTRACT Recent identification of over 60 loci contributing to the susceptibility of developing type 1 diabetes (T1D) provides a timely opportunity to assess what is currently known of the genetics of T1D, and what these discoveries may tell us about the disease itself.
The major findings will be discussed under five main themes: T1D risk gene identification, molecular mechanisms of susceptibility, shared genetic cause with other diseases, development of novel analytical methods, and understanding disease heterogeneity.
The plethora of T1D risk genes that have been identified risk overwhelming clinicians with lists of gene names and symbols that have little bearing on management, and provide a challenge for researchers to place the genetics of T1D in a more amenable clinical context.
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ABSTRACT: Above 60 non-HLA genes have been associated with T1D, many of which are immune-related genes. One challenge following identification of these genes is finding causative connections between risk alleles and disease. Phenotypes linked to T1D-associated genetic variants are beginning to help us better understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying T1D. The list of immune-related genes with T1D-associated polymorphisms will be reviewed and cellular phenotypes correlating with these variants will be described highlighting recent finding from variants in the PTPN22 gene and genes encoding proteins in theIL-2/IL2R signaling pathway. Building from extensive genome-wide association studies, we are discovering cellular and molecular phenotypes that may help unravel the underlying causes of T1D.Current opinion in endocrinology, diabetes, and obesity 08/2013; 20(4):285-291. · 3.77 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Autoimmune type 1 diabetes is characterized by selective destruction of insulin-secreting beta cells in the pancreas of genetically susceptible individuals. The mechanisms underlying the development of type 1 diabetes are not fully understood. However, a widely accepted point is that type 1 diabetes is caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although most type 1 diabetes patients do not have a family history, genetic susceptibility does play a vital role in beta cell autoimmunity and destruction. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) regions are the strongest genetic determinants, which can contribute 40-50 % of the genetic risk to type 1 diabetes. Other genes, including INS also contribute to disease risk. The mechanisms of the susceptible genes in type 1 diabetes may relate to their respective roles in antigen presentation, beta cell autoimmunity, immune tolerance, and autoreactive T cell response. Environmental susceptibility factors also contribute to the risk of developing type 1 diabetes. From an epigenetic standpoint, the pathologic mechanisms involved in the development of type 1 diabetes may include DNA methylation, histone modification, microRNA, and molecular mimicry. These mechanisms may act through regulating of gene expression, thereby affecting the immune system response toward islet beta cells. One of the characteristics of type 1 diabetes is the recognition of islet autoantigens by autoreactive CD4(+) and CD8(+) T cells and autoantibodies. Autoantibodies against islet autoantigens are involved in autoantigen processing and presentation by HLA molecules. This review will mainly focus on the molecular mechanism by which genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors contribute to the risk of type 1 diabetes.Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology 04/2014; · 4.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The incidence of type 1 diabetes has increased worldwide, particularly in younger children and those with lower genetic susceptibility. These observations suggest factors in the modern environment promote pancreatic islet autoimmunity and destruction of insulin-producing beta cells. The Environmental Determinants of Islet Autoimmunity (ENDIA) Study is investigating candidate environmental exposures and gene-environment interactions that may contribute to the development of islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes.Methods/design: ENDIA is the only prospective pregnancy/birth cohort study in the Southern Hemisphere investigating the determinants of type 1 diabetes in at-risk children. The study will recruit 1,400 unborn infants or infants less than six months of age with a first-degree relative (i.e. mother, father or sibling) with type 1 diabetes, across five Australian states. Pregnant mothers/infants will be followed prospectively from early pregnancy through childhood to investigate relationships between genotype, the development of islet autoimmunity (and subsequently type 1 diabetes), and prenatal and postnatal environmental factors. ENDIA will evaluate the microbiome, nutrition, bodyweight/composition, metabolome-lipidome, insulin resistance, innate and adaptive immune function and viral infections. A systems biology approach will be used to integrate these. Investigation will be by 3-monthly assessments of the mother during pregnancy, then 3-monthly assessments of the child until 24 months of age and 6-monthly thereafter. The primary outcome measure is persistent islet autoimmunity, defined as the presence of autoantibodies to one or more islet autoantigens on consecutive tests. Defining gene-environment interactions that initiate and/or promote destruction of the insulin-producing beta cells in early life will inform approaches to primary prevention of type 1 diabetes. The strength of ENDIA is the prospective, comprehensive and frequent systems-wide profiling from early pregnancy through to early childhood, to capture dynamic environmental exposures that may shape the development of islet autoimmunity.Trial registration: Australia New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12613000794707.BMC Pediatrics 08/2013; 13(1):124. · 1.92 Impact Factor