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Adiponectin, type 2 diabetes and the metabolic syndrome: lessons from human genetic studies

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2006

Francis Vasseur
Biostatistics Department Medical School and Public Health Clinics, University Hospital, Lille, France.
David Meyre
CNRS 8090, Institute of Biology, Pasteur Institute, Lille, France.
Philippe Froguel
CNRS 8090, Institute of Biology, Pasteur Institute, Lille, France. Genomic Medicine and Genome Centre, Hammersmith Campus, Imperial College London, UK.


Adiponectin, a protein exclusively secreted by adipose tissue but present at low levels in obesity, is now widely recognised as a key determinant of insulin sensitivity and of protection against obesity-associated metabolic syndrome. In this review we explain how genetic findings have contributed to a better understanding of the physiological role of adiponectin in humans. The adiponectin-encoding gene, ADIPOQ (ACDC), is very polymorphic: many frequent exonic synonymous, intronic and promoter single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been identified, as well as a few rare exonic amino acid substitutions. Several of these variations additively contribute to the modulation of adiponectin level and function, and associate with insulin sensitivity, type 2 diabetes and vascular complications of obesity.

Review Article
© 2006 Cambridge University Press

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