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Human genetics illuminates the paths to metabolic disease

Abstract

Metabolic diseases represent a growing threat to world-wide public health. In general, these disorders result from the interaction of heritable factors with environmental influences. Here, I will focus on two important metabolic disorders, namely type 2 diabetes and obesity, and explore the extent to which human molecular genetic research has illuminated our understanding of their underlying pathophysiological mechanisms.

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Acknowledgements

I thank M. Adams for assistance with this manuscript. I also thank A. Hattersley for many helpful suggestions, and I. Barroso, T. Coll, S. Farooqi, R. Loos, J. Rochford, D. Savage, R. Semple, N. Wareham and G. Yeo for discussions over many years. I acknowledge the support of the MRC Centre for Obesity and Related Metabolic Diseases, the Wellcome Trust, the NIHR Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, and the EU for their continuing support of our work in this area.

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Correspondence to Stephen O’Rahilly.

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[Competing Interests: S.O.R. receives remuneration for scientific advice regarding drug discovery and development from GSK, Pfizer and OSI Pharmaceuticals.]

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O’Rahilly, S. Human genetics illuminates the paths to metabolic disease. Nature 462, 307–314 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature08532

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