Agreement among type 2 diabetes linkage studies but a poor correlation with results from genome-wide association studies
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Little of the genetic basis for type 2 diabetes has been explained, despite numerous genetic linkage studies and the discovery of multiple genes in genome-wide association (GWA) studies. To begin to resolve the genetic component of this disease, we searched for sites at which genetic results had been corroborated in different studies, in the expectation that replication among studies should direct us to the genomic locations of causative genes with more confidence than the results of individual studies. METHODS: We have mapped the physical location of results from 83 linkage reports (for type 2 diabetes and diabetes precursor quantitative traits [QTs, e.g. plasma insulin levels]) and recent large GWA reports (for type 2 diabetes) onto the same human genome sequence to identify replicated results in diabetes genetic 'hot spots'. RESULTS: Genetic linkage has been found at least ten times at 18 different locations, and at least five times in 56 locations. All replication clusters contained study populations from more than one ethnic background and most contained results for both diabetes and QTs. There is no close relationship between the GWA results and linkage clusters, and the nine best replication clusters have no nearby GWA result. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Many of the genes for type 2 diabetes remain unidentified. This analysis identifies the broad location of yet to be identified genes on 6q, 1q, 18p, 2q, 20q, 17pq, 8p, 19q and 9q. The discrepancy between the linkage and GWA studies may be explained by the presence of multiple, uncommon, mildly deleterious polymorphisms scattered throughout the regulatory and coding regions of genes for type 2 diabetes.