Up to 40% of patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes will develop diabetic nephropathy (DN), resulting in chronic kidney disease and potential organ failure. There is evidence for a heritable genetic susceptibility to DN, but despite intensive research efforts the causative genes remain elusive. Recently, genome-wide association studies have discovered several novel genetic variants associated with DN. The identification of such variants may potentially allow for early identification of at risk patients. Here we review the current understanding of the key molecular mechanisms and genetic architecture of DN, and discuss the merits of employing an integrative approach to incorporate datasets from multiple sources (genetics, transcriptomics, epigenetic, proteomic) in order to fully elucidate the genetic elements contributing to this serious complication of diabetes.
University College Dublin ->