Powerful Research Method Finds Four New Type 1 Diabetes Genetic Regions

An international research consortium has identified four new genetic regions that affect risk for type 1 diabetes. This finding, made through a powerful new tool called genome wide association (GWA), should help scientists better understand the disease pathway leading to diabetes and could someday provide a clearer picture of individual risk. The GWA method was used by the Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium (WTCCC), a collaboration of 24 geneticists in the United Kingdom, to examine the genetics behind many common diseases. As part of this large study, the WTCCC identified six chromosomal regions that they suspected of increasing the risk of type 1 diabetes. Researchers at the JDRF/Wellcome Trust Diabetes and Inflammation Laboratory in Cambridge, U.K., followed these findings by examining those same areas using a separate, large set of DNA samples. They confirmed that four chromosomal areas are associated with type 1 risk, increasing the number of genetic regions with compelling evidence from six to 10. The finding is published in the journal Nature Genetics.