Current Diabetes Reports

, 19:116 | Cite as

The Genetic Contribution to Type 1 Diabetes

  • Marina Bakay
  • Rahul Pandey
  • Struan F.A. Grant
  • Hakon HakonarsonEmail author
Genetics (AP Morris, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Genetics


Purpose of Review

To provide an updated summary of discoveries made to date resulting from genome-wide association study (GWAS) and sequencing studies, and to discuss the latest loci added to the growing repertoire of genetic signals predisposing to type 1 diabetes (T1D).

Recent Findings

Genetic studies have identified over 60 loci associated with T1D susceptibility. GWAS alone does not specifically inform on underlying mechanisms, but in combination with other sequencing and omics-data, advances are being made in our understanding of T1D genetic etiology and pathogenesis. Current knowledge indicates that genetic variation operating in both pancreatic β cells and in immune cells is central in mediating T1D risk.


One of the main challenges is to determine how these recently discovered GWAS-implicated variants affect the expression and function of gene products. Once we understand the mechanism of action for disease-causing variants, we will be well placed to apply targeted genomic approaches to impede the premature activation of the immune system in an effort to ultimately prevent the onset of T1D.


Type 1 diabetes (T1D) Genome-wide association study (GWAS) Susceptibility loci Autoimmunity C-type lectin-like domain family 16A (CLEC16A) gene 


Funding Information

This work was supported by an Institute Development Award to the Center for Applied Genomics from the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and by the Endowed Chair in Genomic Research to Dr. Hakonarson. Dr. Grant is funded by the Daniel B. Burke Endowed Chair for Diabetes Research, and by NIH grant R01 DK085212.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

Marina Bakay and Rahul Pandey report they have a patent pending on new innovative weight reduction therapies targeting CLEC16A.

Struan F.A. grant reports he has a patent issue on genetic alterations and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type I diabetes issued (patent number 10125395); a patent issued on genetic alterations on chromosome 16 and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes (patent number 10266896); and a patent issued on genetic alterations on chromosomes 21Q, 6Q, and 15Q and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes (patent number 10066266).

Hakon Hakonarson reports he has a patent issued on genetic alterations and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type I diabetes issued (patent number 10125395); a patent issued on genetic alterations on chromosome 16 and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes issued (patent number 10266896); a patent issued on genetic alterations on chromosomes 21Q, 6Q, and 15Q and methods of use thereof for the diagnosis and treatment of type 1 diabetes (patent number 10066266); and a patent pending on new innovative weight reduction therapies targeting CLEC16A.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

All reported studies/experiments with human or animal subjects performed by the authors have been previously published and complied with all applicable ethical standards (including the Helsinki declaration and its amendments, institutional/national research committee standards, and international/national/institutional guidelines).


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marina Bakay
    • 1
  • Rahul Pandey
    • 1
  • Struan F.A. Grant
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Hakon Hakonarson
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.The Center for Applied Genomics, Division of Human GeneticsThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of Pediatrics, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Department of Genetics, Perelman School of MedicineUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.Center for Spatial and Functional GenomicsThe Children’s Hospital of PhiladelphiaPhiladelphiaUSA

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