Disparate genetic influences on polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and type 2 diabetes revealed by a lack of association between common variants within the TCF7L2 gene and PCOS.

Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology and Metabolism, Churchill Hospital, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 7LJ, UK.
Diabetologia (Impact Factor: 6.88). 12/2007; 50(11):2318-22. DOI: 10.1007/s00125-007-0804-z
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Common variants of the gene encoding transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) have a powerful effect on individual risk of type 2 diabetes (per allele odds ratio approximately 1.35). Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and type 2 diabetes are familial conditions sharing common features. Based on this, the aim of the present study was to establish whether variation in TCF7L2 also influences the development of PCOS.
We conducted a genetic association study of variants of TCF7L2 (rs7903146 and rs12255372) using both case-control and quantitative trait approaches. Case-control analyses were conducted in (1) 369 PCOS cases and 2574 controls of UK British/Irish origin, and (2) 540 women with PCOS symptoms and 1083 controls from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort of 1966. Quantitative trait analyses (androgen levels) were also performed (1249 individuals).
There was no association between rs7903146 and PCOS in the UK case-control study (Cochran-Armitage test, p = 0.51); nor with symptomatic status in the Finnish cohort (p = 0.36). In addition, there were no relationships between the TCF7L2 single nucleotide polymorphism rs7903146 and androgen levels (UK cases, p = 0.99; Finnish controls, p = 0.57; Finnish symptomatic cases, p = 0.80). Results at rs12255372 were similar, reflecting strong linkage disequilibrium with rs7903146.
Our study was powered to detect an effect on PCOS susceptibility similar to that previously reported for these variants on type 2 diabetes. Failure to detect any evident association with PCOS provides the strongest evidence yet that the genetic architecture of these related conditions is qualitatively distinct.

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    ABSTRACT: Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a very common endocrine disorder that has a strong genetic component and is characterized by polycystic ovaries, hyperandrogenemia, and menstrual irregularity. During the past decade, the roles of more than 70 candidate genes have been evaluated for a causal role in PCOS; however, because of genetic and phenotypic heterogeneity and underpowered studies, the results of many of these studies remain inconclusive. Here, the results of the genetic analysis of several candidate genes and gene regions-CYP11A (encoding cytochrome P450, family 11, subfamily A polypeptides), CAPN10 (encoding calpain 10), the insulin gene VNTR (variable number of tandem repeats), and D19S884 (a dinucleotide repeat marker mapping to chromosome 19p13.2)-are discussed in detail. Although past genetic studies of PCOS have yielded only modest results, resources and techniques have been assembled to remedy the major deficits of these early studies, promising that the next few years will be a very exciting and rewarding era for the genetic analysis of PCOS.
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