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MEDIGENE

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Genetic and environmental factors of insulin resistance syndrome and its long-term complications in immigrant Mediterranean populations

Coordinator: Florin GRIGORESCU
Project Number: 279171
EC contribution: 2,996,907.00
Project website: http://www.medigene-fp7.eu/

MEDIGENE project will study genetic and environmental (G x E) determinants of the metabolic syndrome (MetS) in recent immigrants in Europe by a novel approach integrating ancestry of Mediterranean populations in epidemiology, locus refining and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS). West Mediterranean shores are place of pre-historical termini of population expansion from Southern Europe and North Africa. Archaeogenetic studies in Europe indicated that Y chromosome and mitochondrial DNA patterns or Ancestry Informative Markers (AIMs) revealed a close relationship between genetic and geographic distances able to locate an individual DNA within few hundred kilometers.

The project will use this information in mapping the genetic basis of insulin resistance, cardiovascular and metabolic complications in immigrants (Albanians, Romanians, Turkish, Tunisians, Algerians and Morocco) in host countries France, Spain, Italy and Greece. Ancestry markers and studies on ancient DNA from Roman historical migration in Catalonia will help to give a better picture of the genetic landscape of Europe and North Africa.

Genes for MetS will be studied in existing samples from host and home countries by GWAS, locus refining by next-generation sequencing and haplotype mapping. Informative filtered SNPs will be then used in epidemiology and novel DNA samples to reveal G x E interactions and specificities of the pathogenesis of MetS. Genetic findings will be replicated in home countries (Anatolia and North Africa) in the goal to develop markers ethnic specific and significant at a clinical scale. Major impact is expected from dissemination of our findings to prevent the occurrence of MetS and obesity in children and adolescents or in descendants of modern immigration, understanding variability clinical manifestations of MetS in the context of malnutrition and from the novel approach of GWAS strategies by ameliorating the association signal and bursting R&D activities of SMEs.

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