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Data from: Genetic drivers of pancreatic islet function

Cite this dataset

Keller, Mark P. et al. (2018). Data from: Genetic drivers of pancreatic islet function [Dataset]. Dryad.


Nearly all gene loci that have been associated with type 2 diabetes play a role in pancreatic islet function. To evaluate the role of islet gene expression in the etiology of diabetes, we sensitized a genetically diverse mouse population with a Western diet and carried out genome-wide association mapping of diabetes-related phenotypes. We quantified mRNA abundance in the islets, and identified 18,775 expression quantitative trait loci. We applied mediation analysis to identify candidate causal driver genes at loci where numerous transcripts co-map. These include two genes previously associated with monogenic diabetes (PDX1 and HNF4A), as well as three genes with nominal association with diabetes-related traits in humans (FAM83E, IL6ST, and SAT2). We grouped transcripts into gene modules and show that these modules enrich for physiological pathways that also map to distinct loci. We identified and mapped regulatory loci for modules enriched with transcripts specific for α-cells, and another specific for δ-cells. However, no single module enriched for β-cell-specific transcripts, reflecting heterogeneity within the β-cell population. A module enriched in transcripts associated with branched chain amino acid metabolism was the most strongly correlated with clinical traits that reflect insulin resistance. Although the mice in this study were not overtly diabetic, the analysis of pancreatic islet gene expression under dietary-induced stress, enabled us to identify genes and pathways linked to diabetes-associated clinical traits. Our analysis reveals a high degree of concordance between diabetes-associated loci in the mouse with those found in human populations, and demonstrates how the mouse can provide evidence to support nominal associations found in human genome-wide association mapping.

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