Type I diabetes susceptibility genes have been identified within the major histocompatibility complex (MHC) on chromosome 6p21.3 and near the VNTR/insulin region on chromosome 11p15.5. We have used polymorphic dinucleotide repeat markers to search the human genome for additional susceptibility genes in 162 type I diabetic families with an affected sibling pair. We report that an additional susceptibility gene is located on chromosome 2q31 near HOXD8 (P < 10−5, maximum logarithm of odds score = 4.8) in an analysis of affected sibling pairs having specific human leukocyte antigen (HLA) and hypervariable nucleotide tandem repeat (VNTR)/insulin gene haplotypes (absence of high-risk HLA-DR3/4 haplotypes and presence of homozygous high-risk class I VNTR alleles). These results suggest the interaction of a minimum of three genes in the pathogenesis of type I diabetes in humans.

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