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Scientists associate 6 new genetic variants with heart disease risk factor
Date:1/13/2008

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The current study builds upon the Diabetes Genetics Initiative of the Broad Institute, Lund University, and Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, a pioneering study of the genetics of type 2 diabetes that found three new genomic regions influencing type 2 diabetes risk, published in Science last year. That paper included an analysis of serum cholesterol and triglycerides and identified a new genetic signal for triglyceride levels in humans a gene called GCKR. On its own, however, this study lacked power to distinguish other new potential signals from statistical noise. By combining DGI data with that of two other studies, and by extensive replication in additional samples, the current study identifies a total of 18 strong signals, six of which are new. This brings the total for the DGI and its follow-up to seven newly identified variations associated with cholesterol and triglycerides. The DGI was led by David Altshuler, director of the Broad Institutes Program in Medical and Population Genetics, and associate professor at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Genome-wide association studies are the realization of a long-term effort to understand how human genetic variation impacts health. Built on the Human Genome Project, these studies have been made possible in the last year, driven by the recent completion of the HapMap Project and availability of large-scale research tools. Already, scientists from Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, as well as other research organizations worldwide, have used the approach to identify genetic differences that influence a variety of disorders, including type 2 diabetes, Crohns disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, obesity, age-related macular degeneration, and prostate cancer.


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Contact: Leah Eisenstadt
leah@broad.mit.edu
617-324-2619
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard
Source:Eurekalert

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