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      Insulin Resistance and the Polycystic Ovary Syndrome Revisited: An Update on Mechanisms and Implications

      1 , 2

      Endocrine Reviews

      The Endocrine Society

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          Abstract

          Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is now recognized as an important metabolic as well as reproductive disorder conferring substantially increased risk for type 2 diabetes. Affected women have marked insulin resistance, independent of obesity. This article summarizes the state of the science since we last reviewed the field in the Endocrine Reviews in 1997. There is general agreement that obese women with PCOS are insulin resistant, but some groups of lean affected women may have normal insulin sensitivity. There is a post-binding defect in receptor signaling likely due to increased receptor and insulin receptor substrate-1 serine phosphorylation that selectively affects metabolic but not mitogenic pathways in classic insulin target tissues and in the ovary. Constitutive activation of serine kinases in the MAPK-ERK pathway may contribute to resistance to insulin's metabolic actions in skeletal muscle. Insulin functions as a co-gonadotropin through its cognate receptor to modulate ovarian steroidogenesis. Genetic disruption of insulin signaling in the brain has indicated that this pathway is important for ovulation and body weight regulation. These insights have been directly translated into a novel therapy for PCOS with insulin-sensitizing drugs. Furthermore, androgens contribute to insulin resistance in PCOS. PCOS may also have developmental origins due to androgen exposure at critical periods or to intrauterine growth restriction. PCOS is a complex genetic disease, and first-degree relatives have reproductive and metabolic phenotypes. Several PCOS genetic susceptibility loci have been mapped and replicated. Some of the same susceptibility genes contribute to disease risk in Chinese and European PCOS populations, suggesting that PCOS is an ancient trait.

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          Most cited references 437

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          Genome-wide association studies for complex traits: consensus, uncertainty and challenges.

          The past year has witnessed substantial advances in understanding the genetic basis of many common phenotypes of biomedical importance. These advances have been the result of systematic, well-powered, genome-wide surveys exploring the relationships between common sequence variation and disease predisposition. This approach has revealed over 50 disease-susceptibility loci and has provided insights into the allelic architecture of multifactorial traits. At the same time, much has been learned about the successful prosecution of association studies on such a scale. This Review highlights the knowledge gained, defines areas of emerging consensus, and describes the challenges that remain as researchers seek to obtain more complete descriptions of the susceptibility architecture of biomedical traits of interest and to translate the information gathered into improvements in clinical management.
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            Efficiency and power in genetic association studies.

            We investigated selection and analysis of tag SNPs for genome-wide association studies by specifically examining the relationship between investment in genotyping and statistical power. Do pairwise or multimarker methods maximize efficiency and power? To what extent is power compromised when tags are selected from an incomplete resource such as HapMap? We addressed these questions using genotype data from the HapMap ENCODE project, association studies simulated under a realistic disease model, and empirical correction for multiple hypothesis testing. We demonstrate a haplotype-based tagging method that uniformly outperforms single-marker tests and methods for prioritization that markedly increase tagging efficiency. Examining all observed haplotypes for association, rather than just those that are proxies for known SNPs, increases power to detect rare causal alleles, at the cost of reduced power to detect common causal alleles. Power is robust to the completeness of the reference panel from which tags are selected. These findings have implications for prioritizing tag SNPs and interpreting association studies.
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              Signal transduction by receptors with tyrosine kinase activity.

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Endocrine Reviews
                The Endocrine Society
                0163-769X
                1945-7189
                December 01 2012
                October 12 2012
                December 01 2012
                October 12 2012
                : 33
                : 6
                : 981-1030
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Medical School, University of Athens (E.D.-K.), Athens GR-14578, Greece
                [2 ]Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine (A.D.), Chicago, Illinois 60611-3008
                Article
                10.1210/er.2011-1034
                5393155
                23065822
                © 2012

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