Discovery of Coding Genetic Variants Influencing Diabetes-Related Serum Biomarkers and Their Impact on Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

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Abstract

Context:

Type 2 diabetes (T2D) prevalence is spiraling globally, and knowledge of its pathophysiological signatures is crucial for a better understanding and treatment of the disease.

Objective:

We aimed to discover underlying coding genetic variants influencing fasting serum levels of nine biomarkers associated with T2D: adiponectin, C-reactive protein, ferritin, heat shock 70-kDa protein 1B, IGF binding protein 1 and IGF binding protein 2, IL-18, IL-2 receptor-α, and leptin.

Design and Participants:

A population-based sample of 6215 adult Danes was genotyped for 16 340 coding single-nucleotide polymorphisms and were tested for association with each biomarker. Identified loci were tested for association with T2D through a large-scale meta-analysis involving up to 17 024 T2D cases and up to 64 186 controls.

Results:

We discovered 11 associations between single-nucleotide polymorphisms and five distinct biomarkers at a study-wide P < 3.4 × 10−7. Nine associations were novel: IL18: BIRC6, RAD17, MARVELD2; ferritin: F5; IGF binding protein 1: SERPING1, KLKB, GCKR, CELSR2, and heat shock 70-kDa protein 1B: CFH. Three of the identified loci (CELSR2, HNF1A, and GCKR) were significantly associated with T2D, of which the association with the CELSR2 locus has not been shown previously.

Conclusion:

The identified loci influence processes related to insulin signaling, cell communication, immune function, apoptosis, DNA repair, and oxidative stress, all of which could provide a rationale for novel diabetes therapeutic strategies.

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