Genetic modifiers of cystic fibrosis-related diabetes have extensive overlap with type 2 diabetes and related traits

Melis A. Aksit, Rhonda G. Pace, Briana Vecchio-Pagán, Hua Ling, Johanna M. Rommens, Pierre Yves Boelle, Loic Guillot, Karen S. Raraigh, Elizabeth Pugh, Peng Zhang, Lisa J. Strug, Mitch L. Drumm, Michael R. Knowles, Garry R. Cutting, Harriet Corvol, Scott M. Blackman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Context: Individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) develop a distinct form of diabetes characterized by β-cell dysfunction and islet amyloid accumulation similar to type 2 diabetes (T2D), but generally have normal insulin sensitivity. CF-related diabetes (CFRD) risk is determined by both CFTR, the gene responsible for CF, and other genetic variants. Objective: To identify genetic modifiers of CFRD and determine the genetic overlap with other types of diabetes. Design and Patients: A genome-wide association study was conducted for CFRD onset on 5740 individuals with CF. Weighted polygenic risk scores (PRSs) for type 1 diabetes (T1D), T2D, and diabetes endophenotypes were tested for association with CFRD. Results: Genome-wide significance was obtained for variants at a novel locus (PTMA) and 2 known CFRD genetic modifiers (TCF7L2 and SLC26A9). PTMA and SLC26A9 variants were CF-specific; TCF7L2 variants also associated with T2D. CFRD was strongly associated with PRSs for T2D, insulin secretion, postchallenge glucose concentration, and fasting plasma glucose, and less strongly with T1D PRSs. CFRD was inconsistently associated with PRSs for insulin sensitivity and was not associated with a PRS for islet autoimmunity. A CFRD PRS comprising variants selected from these PRSs (with a false discovery rate < 0.1) and the genome-wide significant variants was associated with CFRD in a replication population. Conclusions: CFRD and T2D have more etiologic and mechanistic overlap than previously known, aligning along pathways involving β-cell function rather than insulin sensitivity. Two CFRD risk loci are unrelated to T2D and may affect multiple aspects of CF. An 18-variant PRS stratifies risk of CFRD in an independent population.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberdgz102
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical


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