The TCF7L2 protein is a key transcriptional effector of the Wnt/β-catenin signaling pathway, regulating gene expression. It was initially identified in cancer research and embryologic developmental studies. Later, the TCF7L2 gene was linked to type 2 diabetes (T2D), implicating TCF7L2 and Wnt-signaling in metabolic disorders and homeostasis. In fact, TCF7L2-T2D variants confer the greatest relative risk for T2D, unquestionably predicting conversion to T2D in individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. We aim to describe the relevance of TCF7L2 in other human disorders. The TCF7L2-single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and T2D-risk association have been replicated in numerous follow-up studies, and research has now been performed in several other diseases. In this article, we discuss common TCF7L2-T2D variants within the framework of their association with human diseases. The TCF7L2 functional regions need to be further investigated because the molecular and cellular mechanisms through which TCF7L2 contributes to risk associations with different diseases are still not fully elucidated. In this review, we show the association of common TCF7L2-T2D variants with many types of diseases. However, the role of rare genetic variations in the TCF7L2 gene in distinct diseases and ethnic groups has not been explored, and understanding their impact on specific phenotypes will be of clinical relevance. This offers an excellent opportunity to gain a clearer picture of the role that the TCF7L2 gene plays in the pathophysiology of human diseases. The potential pleiotropic role of TCF7L2 may underlie a possible pathway for comorbidity in human disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Cell Biology