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AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for type 2 diabetes have uncovered >400 risk loci, primarily in populations of European and Asian ancestry. Here, we aimed to discover additional type 2 diabetes risk loci (including African-specific variants) and fine-map association signals by performing genetic analysis in African populations. METHODS:We conducted two type 2 diabetes genome-wide association studies in 4347 Africans from South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Kenya and meta-analysed both studies together. Likely causal variants were identified using fine-mapping approaches. RESULTS:The most significantly associated variants mapped to the widely replicated type 2 diabetes risk locus near TCF7L2 (p = 5.3 × 10-13). Fine-mapping of the TCF7L2 locus suggested one type 2 diabetes association signal shared between Europeans and Africans (indexed by rs7903146) and a distinct African-specific signal (indexed by rs17746147). We also detected one novel signal, rs73284431, near AGMO (p = 5.2 × 10-9, minor allele frequency [MAF] = 0.095; monomorphic in most non-African populations), distinct from previously reported signals in the region. In analyses focused on 100 published type 2 diabetes risk loci, we identified 21 with shared causal variants in African and non-African populations. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:These results demonstrate the value of performing GWAS in Africans, provide a resource to larger consortia for further discovery and fine-mapping and indicate that additional large-scale efforts in Africa are warranted to gain further insight in to the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes.

Original publication

DOI

10.1007/s00125-019-4880-7

Type

Journal article

Journal

Diabetologia

Publication Date

07/2019

Volume

62

Pages

1204 - 1211

Addresses

Wellcome Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, UK.