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Obesity and diabetes gene discovery approaches

journal contribution
posted on 2003-07-01, 00:00 authored by Ken WalderKen Walder, D Segal, Jeremy Jowett, J Blangero, Gregory Collier
New treatments are currently required for the common metabolic diseases obesity and type 2 diabetes. The identification of physiological and  biochemical factors that underlie the metabolic disturbances observed in obesity and type 2 diabetes is a key step in developing better therapeutic outcomes. The discovery of new genes and pathways involved in the  pathogenesis of these diseases is critical to this process, however  identification of genes that contribute to the risk of developing these diseases represents a significant challenge as obesity and type 2 diabetes are complex diseases with many genetic and environmental causes. A number of diverse approaches have been used to discover and validate potential new targets for obesity and diabetes. To date, DNA-based approaches using candidate gene and genome-wide linkage analysis have had limited success in identifying genomic regions or genes involved in the development of these diseases. Recent advances in the ability to evaluate linkage analysis data from large family pedigrees using variance components based linkage analysis show great promise in robustly identifying genomic regions associated with the development of obesity and diabetes. RNA-based technologies such as cDNA microarrays have identified many genes differentially expressed in tissues of healthy and diseased subjects. Using a combined approach, we are endeavouring to focus attention on differentially expressed genes located in chromosomal regions previously linked with obesity and / or diabetes. Using this strategy, we have identified Beacon as a potential new target for obesity and diabetes.



Current pharmaceutical design






1357 - 1372


Bentham Science Publishers Ltd


Schiphol, Netherlands







Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2003, Bentham Science Publishers