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1.  Gene-Lifestyle Interaction and Type 2 Diabetes: The EPIC InterAct Case-Cohort Study 
PLoS Medicine  2014;11(5):e1001647.
In this study, Wareham and colleagues quantified the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention. The authors found that the relative effect of a type 2 diabetes genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants, and the high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Understanding of the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes (T2D) has progressed rapidly, but the interactions between common genetic variants and lifestyle risk factors have not been systematically investigated in studies with adequate statistical power. Therefore, we aimed to quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on risk of T2D in order to inform strategies for prevention.
Methods and Findings
The InterAct study includes 12,403 incident T2D cases and a representative sub-cohort of 16,154 individuals from a cohort of 340,234 European participants with 3.99 million person-years of follow-up. We studied the combined effects of an additive genetic T2D risk score and modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors using Prentice-weighted Cox regression and random effects meta-analysis methods. The effect of the genetic score was significantly greater in younger individuals (p for interaction  = 1.20×10−4). Relative genetic risk (per standard deviation [4.4 risk alleles]) was also larger in participants who were leaner, both in terms of body mass index (p for interaction  = 1.50×10−3) and waist circumference (p for interaction  = 7.49×10−9). Examination of absolute risks by strata showed the importance of obesity for T2D risk. The 10-y cumulative incidence of T2D rose from 0.25% to 0.89% across extreme quartiles of the genetic score in normal weight individuals, compared to 4.22% to 7.99% in obese individuals. We detected no significant interactions between the genetic score and sex, diabetes family history, physical activity, or dietary habits assessed by a Mediterranean diet score.
The relative effect of a T2D genetic risk score is greater in younger and leaner participants. However, this sub-group is at low absolute risk and would not be a logical target for preventive interventions. The high absolute risk associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Please see later in the article for the Editors' Summary
Editors' Summary
Worldwide, more than 380 million people currently have diabetes, and the condition is becoming increasingly common. Diabetes is characterized by high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood. Blood sugar levels are usually controlled by insulin, a hormone released by the pancreas after meals (digestion of food produces glucose). In people with type 2 diabetes (the commonest type of diabetes), blood sugar control fails because the fat and muscle cells that normally respond to insulin by removing excess sugar from the blood become less responsive to insulin. Type 2 diabetes can often initially be controlled with diet and exercise (lifestyle changes) and with antidiabetic drugs such as metformin and sulfonylureas, but patients may eventually need insulin injections to control their blood sugar levels. Long-term complications of diabetes, which include an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, reduce the life expectancy of people with diabetes by about ten years compared to people without diabetes.
Why Was This Study Done?
Type 2 diabetes is thought to originate from the interplay between genetic and lifestyle factors. But although rapid progress is being made in understanding the genetic basis of type 2 diabetes, it is not known whether the consequences of adverse lifestyles (for example, being overweight and/or physically inactive) differ according to an individual's underlying genetic risk of diabetes. It is important to investigate this question to inform strategies for prevention. If, for example, obese individuals with a high level of genetic risk have a higher risk of developing diabetes than obese individuals with a low level of genetic risk, then preventative strategies that target lifestyle interventions to obese individuals with a high genetic risk would be more effective than strategies that target all obese individuals. In this case-cohort study, researchers from the InterAct consortium quantify the combined effects of genetic and lifestyle factors on the risk of type 2 diabetes. A case-cohort study measures exposure to potential risk factors in a group (cohort) of people and compares the occurrence of these risk factors in people who later develop the disease with those who remain disease free.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The InterAct study involves 12,403 middle-aged individuals who developed type 2 diabetes after enrollment (incident cases) into the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) and a sub-cohort of 16,154 EPIC participants. The researchers calculated a genetic type 2 diabetes risk score for most of these individuals by determining which of 49 gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes each person carried, and collected baseline information about exposure to lifestyle risk factors for type 2 diabetes. They then used various statistical approaches to examine the combined effects of the genetic risk score and lifestyle factors on diabetes development. The effect of the genetic score was greater in younger individuals than in older individuals and greater in leaner participants than in participants with larger amounts of body fat. The absolute risk of type 2 diabetes, expressed as the ten-year cumulative incidence of type 2 diabetes (the percentage of participants who developed diabetes over a ten-year period) increased with increasing genetic score in normal weight individuals from 0.25% in people with the lowest genetic risk scores to 0.89% in those with the highest scores; in obese people, the ten-year cumulative incidence rose from 4.22% to 7.99% with increasing genetic risk score.
What Do These Findings Mean?
These findings show that in this middle-aged cohort, the relative association with type 2 diabetes of a genetic risk score comprised of a large number of gene variants is greatest in individuals who are younger and leaner at baseline. This finding may in part reflect the methods used to originally identify gene variants associated with type 2 diabetes, and future investigations that include other genetic variants, other lifestyle factors, and individuals living in other settings should be undertaken to confirm this finding. Importantly, however, this study shows that young, lean individuals with a high genetic risk score have a low absolute risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Thus, this sub-group of individuals is not a logical target for preventative interventions. Rather, suggest the researchers, the high absolute risk of type 2 diabetes associated with obesity at any level of genetic risk highlights the importance of universal rather than targeted approaches to lifestyle intervention.
Additional Information
Please access these websites via the online version of this summary at
The US National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse provides information about diabetes for patients, health-care professionals and the general public, including detailed information on diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
The UK National Health Service Choices website provides information for patients and carers about type 2 diabetes and about living with diabetes; it also provides people's stories about diabetes
The charity Diabetes UK provides detailed information for patients and carers in several languages, including information on healthy lifestyles for people with diabetes
The UK-based non-profit organization Healthtalkonline has interviews with people about their experiences of diabetes
The Genetic Landscape of Diabetes is published by the US National Center for Biotechnology Information
More information on the InterAct study is available
MedlinePlus provides links to further resources and advice about diabetes and diabetes prevention (in English and Spanish)
PMCID: PMC4028183  PMID: 24845081
2.  CDKN2B expression and subcutaneous adipose tissue expandability: Possible influence of the 9p21 atherosclerosis locus 
•The tumor suppressor gene CDKN2B is highly expressed in human adipose tissue.•Risk alleles at the 9p21 locus modify CDKN2B expression in a BMI-dependent fashion.•There is an inverse relationship between expression of CDKN2B and adipogenic genes.•CDKN2B expression influences to postprandial triacylglycerol clearance.•CDKN2B expression in adipose tissue is linked to markers of hepatic steatosis.
Risk alleles within a gene desert at the 9p21 locus constitute the most prevalent genetic determinant of cardiovascular disease. Previous research has demonstrated that 9p21 risk variants influence gene expression in vascular tissues, yet the biological mechanisms by which this would mediate atherosclerosis merits further investigation. To investigate possible influences of this locus on other tissues, we explored expression patterns of 9p21-regulated genes in a panel of multiple human tissues and found that the tumor suppressor CDKN2B was highly expressed in subcutaneous adipose tissue (SAT). CDKN2B expression was regulated by obesity status, and this effect was stronger in carriers of 9p21 risk alleles. Covariation between expression of CDKN2B and genes implemented in adipogenesis was consistent with an inhibitory effect of CDKN2B on SAT proliferation. Moreover, studies of postprandial triacylglycerol clearance indicated that CDKN2B is involved in down-regulation of SAT fatty acid trafficking. CDKN2B expression in SAT correlated with indicators of ectopic fat accumulation, including markers of hepatic steatosis. Among genes regulated by 9p21 risk variants, CDKN2B appears to play a significant role in the regulation of SAT expandability, which is a strong determinant of lipotoxicity and therefore might contribute to the development of atherosclerosis.
PMCID: PMC4003348  PMID: 24680834
CVD, cardiovascular disease; SAT, subcutaneous adipose tissue; VAT, visceral adipose tissue; CDKN2A/B, cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A/B; ANRIL, antisense noncoding RNA in the INK4 locus; MTAP, methylthioadenosine phosphorylase; BMI, body mass index; TAG, triacylglycerol; CDKN2B; Adipose tissue; Chromosome 9p21
3.  Role of the Unfolded Protein Response in β Cell Compensation and Failure during Diabetes 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:795171.
Pancreatic β cell failure leads to diabetes development. During disease progression, β cells adapt their secretory capacity to compensate the elevated glycaemia and the peripheral insulin resistance. This compensatory mechanism involves a fine-tuned regulation to modulate the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) capacity and quality control to prevent unfolded proinsulin accumulation, a major protein synthetized within the β cell. These signalling pathways are collectively termed unfolded protein response (UPR). The UPR machinery is required to preserve ER homeostasis and β cell integrity. Moreover, UPR actors play a key role by regulating ER folding capacity, increasing the degradation of misfolded proteins, and limiting the mRNA translation rate. Recent genetic and biochemical studies on mouse models and human UPR sensor mutations demonstrate a clear requirement of the UPR machinery to prevent β cell failure and increase β cell mass and adaptation throughout the progression of diabetes. In this review we will highlight the specific role of UPR actors in β cell compensation and failure during diabetes.
PMCID: PMC4000654  PMID: 24812634
4.  Beneficial Metabolic Effects of Rapamycin Are Associated with Enhanced Regulatory Cells in Diet-Induced Obese Mice 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92684.
The “mechanistic target of rapamycin” (mTOR) is a central controller of growth, proliferation and/or motility of various cell-types ranging from adipocytes to immune cells, thereby linking metabolism and immunity. mTOR signaling is overactivated in obesity, promoting inflammation and insulin resistance. Therefore, great interest exists in the development of mTOR inhibitors as therapeutic drugs for obesity or diabetes. However, despite a plethora of studies characterizing the metabolic consequences of mTOR inhibition in rodent models, its impact on immune changes associated with the obese condition has never been questioned so far. To address this, we used a mouse model of high-fat diet (HFD)-fed mice with and without pharmacologic mTOR inhibition by rapamycin. Rapamycin was weekly administrated to HFD-fed C57BL/6 mice for 22 weeks. Metabolic effects were determined by glucose and insulin tolerance tests and by indirect calorimetry measures of energy expenditure. Inflammatory response and immune cell populations were characterized in blood, adipose tissue and liver. In parallel, the activities of both mTOR complexes (e. g. mTORC1 and mTORC2) were determined in adipose tissue, muscle and liver. We show that rapamycin-treated mice are leaner, have enhanced energy expenditure and are protected against insulin resistance. These beneficial metabolic effects of rapamycin were associated to significant changes of the inflammatory profiles of both adipose tissue and liver. Importantly, immune cells with regulatory functions such as regulatory T-cells (Tregs) and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) were increased in adipose tissue. These rapamycin-triggered metabolic and immune effects resulted from mTORC1 inhibition whilst mTORC2 activity was intact. Taken together, our results reinforce the notion that controlling immune regulatory cells in metabolic tissues is crucial to maintain a proper metabolic status and, more generally, comfort the need to search for novel pharmacological inhibitors of the mTOR signaling pathway to prevent and/or treat metabolic diseases.
PMCID: PMC3977858  PMID: 24710396
6.  Role of Ink4a/Arf Locus in Beta Cell Mass Expansion under Physiological and Pathological Conditions 
Journal of Diabetes Research  2014;2014:873679.
The ARF/INK4A (Cdkn2a) locus includes the linked tumour suppressor genes p16INK4a and p14ARF (p19ARF in mice) that trigger the antiproliferative activities of both RB and p53. With beta cell self-replication being the primary source for new beta cell generation in adult animals, the network by which beta cell replication could be increased to enhance beta cell mass and function is one of the approaches in diabetes research. In this review, we show a general view of the regulation points at transcriptional and posttranslational levels of Cdkn2a locus. We describe the molecular pathways and functions of Cdkn2a in beta cell cycle regulation. Given that aging reveals increased p16Ink4a levels in the pancreas that inhibit the proliferation of beta cells and decrease their ability to respond to injury, we show the state of the art about the role of this locus in beta cell senescence and diabetes development. Additionally, we focus on two approaches in beta cell regeneration strategies that rely on Cdkn2a locus negative regulation: long noncoding RNAs and betatrophin.
PMCID: PMC3941170  PMID: 24672805
7.  Adipose Tissue in Obesity-Related Inflammation and Insulin Resistance: Cells, Cytokines, and Chemokines 
ISRN inflammation  2013;2013:139239.
Adipose tissue is a complex organ that comprises a wide range of cell types with diverse energy storage, metabolic regulation, and neuroendocrine and immune functions. Because it contains various immune cells, either adaptive (B and T lymphocytes; such as regulatory T cells) or innate (mostly macrophages and, more recently identified, myeloid-derived suppressor cells), the adipose tissue is now considered as a bona fide immune organ, at the cross-road between metabolism and immunity. Adipose tissue disorders, such as those encountered in obesity and lipodystrophy, cause alterations to adipose tissue distribution and function with broad effects on cytokine, chemokine, and hormone expression, on lipid storage, and on the composition of adipose-resident immune cell populations. The resulting changes appear to induce profound consequences for basal systemic inflammation and insulin sensitivity. The purpose of this review is to synthesize the current literature on adipose cell composition remodeling in obesity, which shows how adipose-resident immune cells regulate inflammation and insulin resistance—notably through cytokine and chemokine secretion—and highlights major research questions in the field.
PMCID: PMC3881510  PMID: 24455420
8.  Rare MTNR1B variants impairing melatonin receptor 1B function contribute to type 2 diabetes 
Nature genetics  2012;44(3):297-301.
Genome-wide association studies revealed that common non-coding variants in MTNR1B (encoding melatonin receptor 1B, also known as MT2) increase type 2 diabetes (T2D) risk1,2. Although the strongest association signal was highly significant (P<10−20), its contribution to T2D risk was modest (odds ratio, OR~1.10-1.15)1-3. We performed large-scale exon resequencing in 7,632 Europeans including 2,186 T2D patients and identified 40 non-synonymous variants, including 36 very rare variants (minor allele frequency, MAF<0.1%) associated with T2D (OR=3.31[1.78;6.18]95%); P=1.64×10−4. A four-tier functional investigation of all 40 mutants revealed that 14 were non-functional and rare (MAF<1%); four were very rare with complete loss of melatonin binding and signaling capabilities. Among the very rare variants, the partial or total loss-of-function variants, but not the neutral ones, contributed to T2D (OR=5.67[2.17;14.82]95%; P=4.09×10−4). Genotyping the four complete loss-of-function variants in 11,854 additional individuals revealed their association with T2D risk (Ncases=8,153/Ncontrols=10,100; OR=3.88[1.49;10.07]95%; P=5.37×10−3). This study establishes a firm functional link between MTNR1B and T2D risk.
PMCID: PMC3773908  PMID: 22286214
9.  Meal Frequencies Modify the Effect of Common Genetic Variants on Body Mass Index in Adolescents of the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e73802.
Recent studies suggest that meal frequencies influence the risk of obesity in children and adolescents. It has also been shown that multiple genetic loci predispose to obesity already in youth. However, it is unknown whether meal frequencies could modulate the association between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and the risk of obesity. We examined the effect of two meal patterns on weekdays –5 meals including breakfast (regular) and ≤4 meals with or without breakfast (meal skipping) – on the genetic susceptibility to increased body mass index (BMI) in Finnish adolescents. Eight variants representing 8 early-life obesity-susceptibility loci, including FTO and MC4R, were genotyped in 2215 boys and 2449 girls aged 16 years from the population-based Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986. A genetic risk score (GRS) was calculated for each individual by summing the number of BMI-increasing alleles across the 8 loci. Weight and height were measured and dietary data were collected using self-administered questionnaires. Among meal skippers, the difference in BMI between high-GRS and low-GRS (<8 and ≥8 BMI-increasing alleles) groups was 0.90 (95% CI 0.63,1.17) kg/m2, whereas in regular eaters, this difference was 0.32 (95% CI 0.06,0.57) kg/m2 (pinteraction  = 0.003). The effect of each MC4R rs17782313 risk allele on BMI in meal skippers (0.47 [95% CI 0.22,0.73] kg/m2) was nearly three-fold compared with regular eaters (0.18 [95% CI -0.06,0.41] kg/m2) (pinteraction  = 0.016). Further, the per-allele effect of the FTO rs1421085 was 0.24 (95% CI 0.05,0.42) kg/m2 in regular eaters and 0.46 (95% CI 0.27,0.66) kg/m2 in meal skippers but the interaction between FTO genotype and meal frequencies on BMI was significant only in boys (pinteraction  = 0.015). In summary, the regular five-meal pattern attenuated the increasing effect of common SNPs on BMI in adolescents. Considering the epidemic of obesity in youth, the promotion of regular eating may have substantial public health implications.
PMCID: PMC3769374  PMID: 24040077
10.  Association of Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) Gene SNPs and Transcript Expression Levels With Severe Obesity 
Obesity (Silver Spring, Md.)  2011;20(1):178-185.
Recent studies have reported associations of sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) to both obesity and BMI. This study was designed to investigate association between SIRT1 SNPs, SIRT1 gene expression and obesity. Case-control analyses were performed using 1,533 obese subjects (896 adults, BMI >40 kg/m2 and 637 children, BMI >97th percentile for age and sex) and 1,237 nonobese controls, all French Caucasians. Two SNPs (in high linkage disequilibrium (LD), r2 = 0.96) were significantly associated with adult obesity, rs33957861 (P value = 0.003, odds ratio (OR) = 0.75, confidence interval (CI) = 0.61–0.92) and rs11599176 (P value: 0.006, OR = 0.74, CI = 0.61–0.90). Expression of SIRT1 mRNA was measured in BMI-discordant siblings from 154 Swedish families. Transcript expression was significantly correlated to BMI in the lean siblings (r2 = 0.13, P value = 3.36 × 10−7) and lower SIRT1 expression was associated with obesity (P value = 1.56 × 10−35). There was also an association between four SNPs (rs11599176, rs12413112, rs33957861, and rs35689145) and BMI (P values: 4 × 10−4, 6 × 10−4, 4 × 10−4, and 2 × 10−3) with the rare allele associated with a lower BMI. However, no SNP was associated with SIRT1 transcript expression level. In summary, both SNPs and SIRT1 gene expression are associated with severe obesity.
PMCID: PMC3760128  PMID: 21760635
12.  Novel association approach for variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) identifies DOCK5 as a susceptibility gene for severe obesity 
Human Molecular Genetics  2012;21(16):3727-3738.
Variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) constitute a relatively under-examined class of genomic variants in the context of complex disease because of their sequence complexity and the challenges in assaying them. Recent large-scale genome-wide copy number variant mapping and association efforts have highlighted the need for improved methodology for association studies using these complex polymorphisms. Here we describe the in-depth investigation of a complex region on chromosome 8p21.2 encompassing the dedicator of cytokinesis 5 (DOCK5) gene. The region includes two VNTRs of complex sequence composition which flank a common 3975 bp deletion, all three of which were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction and fragment analysis in a total of 2744 subjects. We have developed a novel VNTR association method named VNTRtest, suitable for association analysis of multi-allelic loci with binary and quantitative outcomes, and have used this approach to show significant association of the DOCK5 VNTRs with childhood and adult severe obesity (Pempirical= 8.9 × 10−8 and P= 3.1 × 10−3, respectively) which we estimate explains ∼0.8% of the phenotypic variance. We also identified an independent association between the 3975 base pair (bp) deletion and obesity, explaining a further 0.46% of the variance (Pcombined= 1.6 × 10−3). Evidence for association between DOCK5 transcript levels and the 3975 bp deletion (P= 0.027) and both VNTRs (Pempirical= 0.015) was also identified in adipose tissue from a Swedish family sample, providing support for a functional effect of the DOCK5 deletion and VNTRs. These findings highlight the potential role of DOCK5 in human obesity and illustrate a novel approach for analysis of the contribution of VNTRs to disease susceptibility through association studies.
PMCID: PMC3406755  PMID: 22595969
13.  GUESS-ing Polygenic Associations with Multiple Phenotypes Using a GPU-Based Evolutionary Stochastic Search Algorithm 
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(8):e1003657.
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) yielded significant advances in defining the genetic architecture of complex traits and disease. Still, a major hurdle of GWAS is narrowing down multiple genetic associations to a few causal variants for functional studies. This becomes critical in multi-phenotype GWAS where detection and interpretability of complex SNP(s)-trait(s) associations are complicated by complex Linkage Disequilibrium patterns between SNPs and correlation between traits. Here we propose a computationally efficient algorithm (GUESS) to explore complex genetic-association models and maximize genetic variant detection. We integrated our algorithm with a new Bayesian strategy for multi-phenotype analysis to identify the specific contribution of each SNP to different trait combinations and study genetic regulation of lipid metabolism in the Gutenberg Health Study (GHS). Despite the relatively small size of GHS (n = 3,175), when compared with the largest published meta-GWAS (n>100,000), GUESS recovered most of the major associations and was better at refining multi-trait associations than alternative methods. Amongst the new findings provided by GUESS, we revealed a strong association of SORT1 with TG-APOB and LIPC with TG-HDL phenotypic groups, which were overlooked in the larger meta-GWAS and not revealed by competing approaches, associations that we replicated in two independent cohorts. Moreover, we demonstrated the increased power of GUESS over alternative multi-phenotype approaches, both Bayesian and non-Bayesian, in a simulation study that mimics real-case scenarios. We showed that our parallel implementation based on Graphics Processing Units outperforms alternative multi-phenotype methods. Beyond multivariate modelling of multi-phenotypes, our Bayesian model employs a flexible hierarchical prior structure for genetic effects that adapts to any correlation structure of the predictors and increases the power to identify associated variants. This provides a powerful tool for the analysis of diverse genomic features, for instance including gene expression and exome sequencing data, where complex dependencies are present in the predictor space.
Author Summary
Nowadays, the availability of cheaper and accurate assays to quantify multiple (endo)phenotypes in large population cohorts allows multi-trait studies. However, these studies are limited by the lack of flexible models integrated with efficient computational tools for genome-wide multi SNPs-traits analyses. To overcome this problem, we propose a novel Bayesian analysis strategy and a new algorithmic implementation which exploits parallel processing architecture for fully multivariate modeling of groups of correlated phenotypes at the genome-wide scale. In addition to increased power of our algorithm over alternative Bayesian and well-established non-Bayesian multi-phenotype methods, we provide an application to a real case study of several blood lipid traits, and show how our method recovered most of the major associations and is better at refining multi-trait polygenic associations than alternative methods. We reveal and replicate in independent cohorts new associations with two phenotypic groups that were not detected by competing multivariate approaches and not noticed by a large meta-GWAS. We also discuss the applicability of the proposed method to large meta-analyses involving hundreds of thousands of individuals and to diverse genomic datasets where complex dependencies in the predictor space are present.
PMCID: PMC3738451  PMID: 23950726
14.  Impact of Common Variation in Bone-Related Genes on Type 2 Diabetes and Related Traits 
Diabetes  2012;61(8):2176-2186.
Exploring genetic pleiotropy can provide clues to a mechanism underlying the observed epidemiological association between type 2 diabetes and heightened fracture risk. We examined genetic variants associated with bone mineral density (BMD) for association with type 2 diabetes and glycemic traits in large well-phenotyped and -genotyped consortia. We undertook follow-up analysis in ∼19,000 individuals and assessed gene expression. We queried single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with BMD at levels of genome-wide significance, variants in linkage disequilibrium (r2 > 0.5), and BMD candidate genes. SNP rs6867040, at the ITGA1 locus, was associated with a 0.0166 mmol/L (0.004) increase in fasting glucose per C allele in the combined analysis. Genetic variants in the ITGA1 locus were associated with its expression in the liver but not in adipose tissue. ITGA1 variants appeared among the top loci associated with type 2 diabetes, fasting insulin, β-cell function by homeostasis model assessment, and 2-h post–oral glucose tolerance test glucose and insulin levels. ITGA1 has demonstrated genetic pleiotropy in prior studies, and its suggested role in liver fibrosis, insulin secretion, and bone healing lends credence to its contribution to both osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. These findings further underscore the link between skeletal and glucose metabolism and highlight a locus to direct future investigations.
PMCID: PMC3402303  PMID: 22698912
15.  Induction of TDO2 and IDO2 in Liver by High-Fat Feeding in Mice: Discrepancies with Human Obesity 
Low-grade and chronic inflammation is elicited in white adipose tissue in human obesity. The presence of inflammatory molecules leads to an increased tryptophan catabolism through the induction of indoleamine-2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO1). In order to characterize the mechanisms underlying this dysregulation, we have studied 2 mouse models of obesity. Unexpectedly, we did not detect any IDO1 expression in obese or lean mice adipose tissue. In a previous study, we did not find any significant difference in the liver for IDO2 and tryptophan-2,3-dioxygenase (TDO2) gene expression between normal weight and obese patients. IDO2 and TDO2 expression was increased in the liver of high-fat fed mice, but not in ob/ob mice, and was strongly correlated with hydroxysteroid-(11-beta) dehydrogenase-1 (HSD11B1) expression, an enzyme that generates active cortisol within tissues. In conclusion, despite a dysregulation of tryptophan metabolism, obese mice display discrepancies with human obesity metabolism, rendering them inappropriate for further investigations in this animal model.
PMCID: PMC3729279
tryptophan 2; 3-dioxygenase; indoleamine 2; 3-dioxygenase 2; obesity; high fat diet
16.  Mechanisms behind the immediate effects of Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery on type 2 diabetes 
The most common bariatric surgery, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass, leads to glycemia normalization in most patients long before there is any appreciable weight loss. This effect is too large to be attributed purely to caloric restriction, so a number of other mechanisms have been proposed. The most popular hypothesis is enhanced production of an incretin, active glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1), in the lower intestine. We therefore set out to test this hypothesis with a model which is simple enough to be robust and credible.
Our method involves (1) setting up a set of time-dependent equations for the concentrations of the most relevant species, (2) considering an “adiabatic” (or quasi-equilibrium) state in which the concentrations are slowly varying compared to reaction rates (and which in the present case is a postprandial state), and (3) solving for the dependent concentrations (of e.g. insulin and glucose) as an independent concentration (of e.g. GLP-1) is varied.
Even in the most favorable scenario, with maximal values for (i) the increase in active GLP-1 concentration and (ii) the effect of GLP-1 on insulin production, enhancement of GLP-1 alone cannot account for the observations. I.e., the largest possible decrease in glucose predicted by the model is smaller than reported decreases, and the model predicts no decrease whatsoever in glucose ×insulin, in contrast to large observed decreases in homeostatic model assessment insulin resistance (HOMA-IR). On the other hand, both effects can be accounted for if the surgery leads to a substantial increase in some substance that opens an alternative insulin-independent pathway for glucose transport into muscle cells, which perhaps uses the same intracellular pool of GLUT-4 that is employed in an established insulin-independent pathway stimulated by muscle contraction during exercise.
Glycemia normalization following Roux-en-Y gastric bypass is undoubtedly caused by a variety of mechanisms, which may include caloric restriction, enhanced GLP-1, and perhaps others proposed in earlier papers on this subject. However, the present results suggest that another possible mechanism should be added to the list of candidates: enhanced production in the lower intestine of a substance which opens an alternative insulin-independent pathway for glucose transport.
PMCID: PMC3726422  PMID: 23849268
17.  Are C-Reactive Protein Associated Genetic Variants Associated with Serum Levels and Retinal Markers of Microvascular Pathology in Asian Populations from Singapore? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(7):e67650.
C-reactive protein (CRP) levels are associated with cardiovascular disease and systemic inflammation. We assessed whether CRP-associated loci were associated with serum CRP and retinal markers of microvascular disease, in Asian populations.
Genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) for serum CRP was performed in East-Asian Chinese (N = 2,434) and Malays (N = 2,542) and South-Asian Indians (N = 2,538) from Singapore. Leveraging on GWAS data, we assessed, in silico, association levels among the Singaporean datasets for 22 recently identified CRP-associated loci. At loci where directional inconsistencies were observed, quantification of inter-ethnic linkage disequilibrium (LD) difference was determined. Next, we assessed association for a variant at CRP and retinal vessel traits [central retinal artery equivalent (CRAE) and central retinal vein equivalent (CRVE)] in a total of 24,132 subjects of East-Asian, South-Asian and European ancestry.
Serum CRP was associated with SNPs in/near APOE, CRP, HNF1A and LEPR (p-values ≤4.7×10−8) after meta-analysis of Singaporean populations. Using a candidate-SNP approach, we further replicated SNPs at 4 additional loci that had been recently identified to be associated with serum CRP (IL6R, GCKR, IL6 and IL1F10) (p-values ≤0.009), in the Singaporean datasets. SNPs from these 8 loci explained 4.05% of variance in serum CRP. Two SNPs (rs2847281 and rs6901250) were detected to be significant (p-value ≤0.036) but with opposite effect directions in the Singaporean populations as compared to original European studies. At these loci we did not detect significant inter-population LD differences. We further did not observe a significant association between CRP variant and CRVE or CRAE levels after meta-analysis of all Singaporean and European datasets (p-value >0.058).
Common variants associated with serum CRP, first detected in primarily European studies, are also associated with CRP levels in East-Asian and South-Asian populations. We did not find a causal link between CRP and retinal measures of microvascular disease.
PMCID: PMC3699653  PMID: 23844046
18.  Loss-of-function mutations in SIM1 contribute to obesity and Prader-Willi–like features  
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2013;123(7):3037-3041.
Sim1 haploinsufficiency in mice induces hyperphagic obesity and developmental abnormalities of the brain. In humans, abnormalities in chromosome 6q16, a region that includes SIM1, were reported in obese children with a Prader-Willi–like syndrome; however, SIM1 involvement in obesity has never been conclusively demonstrated. Here, SIM1 was sequenced in 44 children with Prader-Willi–like syndrome features, 198 children with severe early-onset obesity, 568 morbidly obese adults, and 383 controls. We identified 4 rare variants (p.I128T, p.Q152E, p.R581G, and p.T714A) in 4 children with Prader-Willi–like syndrome features (including severe obesity) and 4 other rare variants (p.T46R, p.E62K, p.H323Y, and p.D740H) in 7 morbidly obese adults. By assessing the carriers’ relatives, we found a significant contribution of SIM1 rare variants to intra-family risk for obesity. We then assessed functional effects of the 8 substitutions on SIM1 transcriptional activities in stable cell lines using luciferase gene reporter assays. Three mutations showed strong loss-of-function effects (p.T46R, p.H323Y, and p.T714A) and were associated with high intra-family risk for obesity, while the variants with mild or no effects on SIM1 activity were not associated with obesity within families. Our genetic and functional studies demonstrate a firm link between SIM1 loss of function and severe obesity associated with, or independent of, Prader-Willi–like features.
PMCID: PMC3696559  PMID: 23778136
19.  Sex-stratified Genome-wide Association Studies Including 270,000 Individuals Show Sexual Dimorphism in Genetic Loci for Anthropometric Traits 
Randall, Joshua C. | Winkler, Thomas W. | Kutalik, Zoltán | Berndt, Sonja I. | Jackson, Anne U. | Monda, Keri L. | Kilpeläinen, Tuomas O. | Esko, Tõnu | Mägi, Reedik | Li, Shengxu | Workalemahu, Tsegaselassie | Feitosa, Mary F. | Croteau-Chonka, Damien C. | Day, Felix R. | Fall, Tove | Ferreira, Teresa | Gustafsson, Stefan | Locke, Adam E. | Mathieson, Iain | Scherag, Andre | Vedantam, Sailaja | Wood, Andrew R. | Liang, Liming | Steinthorsdottir, Valgerdur | Thorleifsson, Gudmar | Dermitzakis, Emmanouil T. | Dimas, Antigone S. | Karpe, Fredrik | Min, Josine L. | Nicholson, George | Clegg, Deborah J. | Person, Thomas | Krohn, Jon P. | Bauer, Sabrina | Buechler, Christa | Eisinger, Kristina | Bonnefond, Amélie | Froguel, Philippe | Hottenga, Jouke-Jan | Prokopenko, Inga | Waite, Lindsay L. | Harris, Tamara B. | Smith, Albert Vernon | Shuldiner, Alan R. | McArdle, Wendy L. | Caulfield, Mark J. | Munroe, Patricia B. | Grönberg, Henrik | Chen, Yii-Der Ida | Li, Guo | Beckmann, Jacques S. | Johnson, Toby | Thorsteinsdottir, Unnur | Teder-Laving, Maris | Khaw, Kay-Tee | Wareham, Nicholas J. | Zhao, Jing Hua | Amin, Najaf | Oostra, Ben A. | Kraja, Aldi T. | Province, Michael A. | Cupples, L. Adrienne | Heard-Costa, Nancy L. | Kaprio, Jaakko | Ripatti, Samuli | Surakka, Ida | Collins, Francis S. | Saramies, Jouko | Tuomilehto, Jaakko | Jula, Antti | Salomaa, Veikko | Erdmann, Jeanette | Hengstenberg, Christian | Loley, Christina | Schunkert, Heribert | Lamina, Claudia | Wichmann, H. Erich | Albrecht, Eva | Gieger, Christian | Hicks, Andrew A. | Johansson, Åsa | Pramstaller, Peter P. | Kathiresan, Sekar | Speliotes, Elizabeth K. | Penninx, Brenda | Hartikainen, Anna-Liisa | Jarvelin, Marjo-Riitta | Gyllensten, Ulf | Boomsma, Dorret I. | Campbell, Harry | Wilson, James F. | Chanock, Stephen J. | Farrall, Martin | Goel, Anuj | Medina-Gomez, Carolina | Rivadeneira, Fernando | Estrada, Karol | Uitterlinden, André G. | Hofman, Albert | Zillikens, M. Carola | den Heijer, Martin | Kiemeney, Lambertus A. | Maschio, Andrea | Hall, Per | Tyrer, Jonathan | Teumer, Alexander | Völzke, Henry | Kovacs, Peter | Tönjes, Anke | Mangino, Massimo | Spector, Tim D. | Hayward, Caroline | Rudan, Igor | Hall, Alistair S. | Samani, Nilesh J. | Attwood, Antony Paul | Sambrook, Jennifer G. | Hung, Joseph | Palmer, Lyle J. | Lokki, Marja-Liisa | Sinisalo, Juha | Boucher, Gabrielle | Huikuri, Heikki | Lorentzon, Mattias | Ohlsson, Claes | Eklund, Niina | Eriksson, Johan G. | Barlassina, Cristina | Rivolta, Carlo | Nolte, Ilja M. | Snieder, Harold | Van der Klauw, Melanie M. | Van Vliet-Ostaptchouk, Jana V. | Gejman, Pablo V. | Shi, Jianxin | Jacobs, Kevin B. | Wang, Zhaoming | Bakker, Stephan J. L. | Mateo Leach, Irene | Navis, Gerjan | van der Harst, Pim | Martin, Nicholas G. | Medland, Sarah E. | Montgomery, Grant W. | Yang, Jian | Chasman, Daniel I. | Ridker, Paul M. | Rose, Lynda M. | Lehtimäki, Terho | Raitakari, Olli | Absher, Devin | Iribarren, Carlos | Basart, Hanneke | Hovingh, Kees G. | Hyppönen, Elina | Power, Chris | Anderson, Denise | Beilby, John P. | Hui, Jennie | Jolley, Jennifer | Sager, Hendrik | Bornstein, Stefan R. | Schwarz, Peter E. H. | Kristiansson, Kati | Perola, Markus | Lindström, Jaana | Swift, Amy J. | Uusitupa, Matti | Atalay, Mustafa | Lakka, Timo A. | Rauramaa, Rainer | Bolton, Jennifer L. | Fowkes, Gerry | Fraser, Ross M. | Price, Jackie F. | Fischer, Krista | KrjutÅ¡kov, Kaarel | Metspalu, Andres | Mihailov, Evelin | Langenberg, Claudia | Luan, Jian'an | Ong, Ken K. | Chines, Peter S. | Keinanen-Kiukaanniemi, Sirkka M. | Saaristo, Timo E. | Edkins, Sarah | Franks, Paul W. | Hallmans, Göran | Shungin, Dmitry | Morris, Andrew David | Palmer, Colin N. A. | Erbel, Raimund | Moebus, Susanne | Nöthen, Markus M. | Pechlivanis, Sonali | Hveem, Kristian | Narisu, Narisu | Hamsten, Anders | Humphries, Steve E. | Strawbridge, Rona J. | Tremoli, Elena | Grallert, Harald | Thorand, Barbara | Illig, Thomas | Koenig, Wolfgang | Müller-Nurasyid, Martina | Peters, Annette | Boehm, Bernhard O. | Kleber, Marcus E. | März, Winfried | Winkelmann, Bernhard R. | Kuusisto, Johanna | Laakso, Markku | Arveiler, Dominique | Cesana, Giancarlo | Kuulasmaa, Kari | Virtamo, Jarmo | Yarnell, John W. G. | Kuh, Diana | Wong, Andrew | Lind, Lars | de Faire, Ulf | Gigante, Bruna | Magnusson, Patrik K. E. | Pedersen, Nancy L. | Dedoussis, George | Dimitriou, Maria | Kolovou, Genovefa | Kanoni, Stavroula | Stirrups, Kathleen | Bonnycastle, Lori L. | Njølstad, Inger | Wilsgaard, Tom | Ganna, Andrea | Rehnberg, Emil | Hingorani, Aroon | Kivimaki, Mika | Kumari, Meena | Assimes, Themistocles L. | Barroso, Inês | Boehnke, Michael | Borecki, Ingrid B. | Deloukas, Panos | Fox, Caroline S. | Frayling, Timothy | Groop, Leif C. | Haritunians, Talin | Hunter, David | Ingelsson, Erik | Kaplan, Robert | Mohlke, Karen L. | O'Connell, Jeffrey R. | Schlessinger, David | Strachan, David P. | Stefansson, Kari | van Duijn, Cornelia M. | Abecasis, Gonçalo R. | McCarthy, Mark I. | Hirschhorn, Joel N. | Qi, Lu | Loos, Ruth J. F. | Lindgren, Cecilia M. | North, Kari E. | Heid, Iris M. | Gibson, Greg
PLoS Genetics  2013;9(6):e1003500.
Given the anthropometric differences between men and women and previous evidence of sex-difference in genetic effects, we conducted a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic associations with height, weight, body mass index, waist circumference, hip circumference, and waist-to-hip-ratio (133,723 individuals) and took forward 348 SNPs into follow-up (additional 137,052 individuals) in a total of 94 studies. Seven loci displayed significant sex-difference (FDR<5%), including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were genome-wide significant in women (P<5×10−8), but not in men. Sex-differences were apparent only for waist phenotypes, not for height, weight, BMI, or hip circumference. Moreover, we found no evidence for genetic effects with opposite directions in men versus women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its role in diabetes genetics and therapy. Our results demonstrate the value of sex-specific GWAS to unravel the sexually dimorphic genetic underpinning of complex traits.
Author Summary
Men and women differ substantially regarding height, weight, and body fat. Interestingly, previous work detecting genetic effects for waist-to-hip ratio, to assess body fat distribution, has found that many of these showed sex-differences. However, systematic searches for sex-differences in genetic effects have not yet been conducted. Therefore, we undertook a genome-wide search for sexually dimorphic genetic effects for anthropometric traits including 133,723 individuals in a large meta-analysis and followed promising variants in further 137,052 individuals, including a total of 94 studies. We identified seven loci with significant sex-difference including four previously established (near GRB14/COBLL1, LYPLAL1/SLC30A10, VEGFA, ADAMTS9) and three novel anthropometric trait loci (near MAP3K1, HSD17B4, PPARG), all of which were significant in women, but not in men. Of interest is that sex-difference was only observed for waist phenotypes, but not for height or body-mass-index. We found no evidence for sex-differences with opposite effect direction for men and women. The PPARG locus is of specific interest due to its link to diabetes genetics and therapy. Our findings demonstrate the importance of investigating sex differences, which may lead to a better understanding of disease mechanisms with a potential relevance to treatment options.
PMCID: PMC3674993  PMID: 23754948
20.  Multicohort Genomewide Association Study Reveals a New Signal of Protection Against HIV-1 Acquisition 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(7):1155-1162.
Background. To date, only mutations in CCR5 have been shown to confer resistance to human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection, and these explain only a small fraction of the observed variability in HIV susceptibility.
Methods. We performed a meta-analysis between 2 independent European genomewide association studies, each comparing HIV-1 seropositive cases with normal population controls known to be HIV uninfected, to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with the HIV-1 acquisition phenotype. SNPs exhibiting P < 10−5 in this first stage underwent second-stage analysis in 2 independent US cohorts of European descent.
Results. After the first stage, a single highly significant association was revealed for the chromosome 8 rs6996198 with HIV-1 acquisition and was replicated in both second-stage cohorts. Across the 4 groups, the rs6996198-T allele was consistently associated with a significant reduced risk of HIV-1 infection, and the global meta-analysis reached genomewide significance: Pcombined = 7.76 × 10−8.
Conclusions. We provide strong evidence of association for a common variant with HIV-1 acquisition in populations of European ancestry. This protective signal against HIV-1 infection is the first identified outside the CCR5 nexus. First clues point to a potential functional role for a nearby candidate gene, CYP7B1, but this locus warrants further investigation.
PMCID: PMC3295605  PMID: 22362864
21.  Integration of clinical data with a genome-scale metabolic model of the human adipocyte 
Combining large-scale immunohistochemical analysis and proteomics data, 7340 gene products are identified in human adipocytes. Based on this data, a genome-scale metabolic model is reconstructed and used to integrate clinical and transcriptome data from lean and obese subjects.
We simulated the metabolic differences between the individuals with different body mass indexes (BMIs) using transcriptome and fluxome data.An increase in the metabolic activity around androsterone, ganglioside GM2 and degradation products of heparan sulfate and keratan sulfate, and a decrease in mitochondrial metabolic activities are found in obese subjects compared with lean subjects.We simulated the change in lipid droplet (LD) size and found that lean subjects have large dynamic changes in LD formation compared with obese subjects.Besides enabling patient stratification, our study allows the identification of novel therapeutic targets for obesity.
We evaluated the presence/absence of proteins encoded by 14 077 genes in adipocytes obtained from different tissue samples using immunohistochemistry. By combining this with previously published adipocyte-specific proteome data, we identified proteins associated with 7340 genes in human adipocytes. This information was used to reconstruct a comprehensive and functional genome-scale metabolic model of adipocyte metabolism. The resulting metabolic model, iAdipocytes1809, enables mechanistic insights into adipocyte metabolism on a genome-wide level, and can serve as a scaffold for integration of omics data to understand the genotype–phenotype relationship in obese subjects. By integrating human transcriptome and fluxome data, we found an increase in the metabolic activity around androsterone, ganglioside GM2 and degradation products of heparan sulfate and keratan sulfate, and a decrease in mitochondrial metabolic activities in obese subjects compared with lean subjects. Our study hereby shows a path to identify new therapeutic targets for treating obesity through combination of high throughput patient data and metabolic modeling.
PMCID: PMC3619940  PMID: 23511207
adipocyte; flux balance analysis; genome-scale metabolic model; obesity; proteome
22.  Rare Genomic Structural Variants in Complex Disease: Lessons from the Replication of Associations with Obesity 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(3):e58048.
The limited ability of common variants to account for the genetic contribution to complex disease has prompted searches for rare variants of large effect, to partly explain the ‘missing heritability’. Analyses of genome-wide genotyping data have identified genomic structural variants (GSVs) as a source of such rare causal variants. Recent studies have reported multiple GSV loci associated with risk of obesity. We attempted to replicate these associations by similar analysis of two familial-obesity case-control cohorts and a population cohort, and detected GSVs at 11 out of 18 loci, at frequencies similar to those previously reported. Based on their reported frequencies and effect sizes (OR≥25), we had sufficient statistical power to detect the large majority (80%) of genuine associations at these loci. However, only one obesity association was replicated. Deletion of a 220 kb region on chromosome 16p11.2 has a carrier population frequency of 2×10−4 (95% confidence interval [9.6×10−5–3.1×10−4]); accounts overall for 0.5% [0.19%–0.82%] of severe childhood obesity cases (P = 3.8×10−10; odds ratio = 25.0 [9.9–60.6]); and results in a mean body mass index (BMI) increase of 5.8 kg.m−2 [1.8–10.3] in adults from the general population. We also attempted replication using BMI as a quantitative trait in our population cohort; associations with BMI at or near nominal significance were detected at two further loci near KIF2B and within FOXP2, but these did not survive correction for multiple testing. These findings emphasise several issues of importance when conducting rare GSV association, including the need for careful cohort selection and replication strategy, accurate GSV identification, and appropriate correction for multiple testing and/or control of false discovery rate. Moreover, they highlight the potential difficulty in replicating rare CNV associations across different populations. Nevertheless, we show that such studies are potentially valuable for the identification of variants making an appreciable contribution to complex disease.
PMCID: PMC3595275  PMID: 23554873
23.  What Is the Contribution of Two Genetic Variants Regulating VEGF Levels to Type 2 Diabetes Risk and to Microvascular Complications? 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55921.
Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a key chemokine involved in tissue growth and organ repair processes, particularly angiogenesis. Elevated circulating VEGF levels are believed to play a role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) microvascular complications, especially diabetic retinopathy. Recently, a genome-wide association study identified two common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs; rs6921438 and rs10738760) explaining nearly half of the variance in circulating VEGF levels. Considering the putative contribution of VEGF to T2D and its complications, we aimed to assess the effect of these VEGF-related SNPs on the risk of T2D, nephropathy and retinopathy, as well as on variation in related traits.
SNPs were genotyped in several case-control studies: French and Danish T2D studies (Ncases = 6,920-Ncontrols = 3,875 and Ncases = 3,561-Ncontrols = 2,623; respectively), two French studies one for diabetic nephropathy (Ncases = 1,242-Ncontrols = 860) and the other for diabetic retinopathy (Ncases = 1,336-Ncontrols = 1,231). The effects of each SNP on quantitative traits were analyzed in a French general population-based cohort (N = 4,760) and two French T2D studies (N = 3,480). SNP associations were assessed using logistic or linear regressions.
In the French population, we found an association between the G-allele of rs6921438, shown to increase circulating VEGF levels, and increased T2D risk (OR = 1.15; P = 3.7×10−5). Furthermore, the same allele was associated with higher glycated hemoglobin levels (β = 0.02%; P = 9.2×10−3). However, these findings were not confirmed in the Danes. Conversely, the SNP rs10738760 was not associated with T2D in the French or Danish populations. Despite having adequate statistical power, we did not find any significant effects of rs6921438 or rs10738760 on diabetic microvascular complications or the variation in related traits in T2D patients.
In spite of their impact on the variance in circulating VEGF, we did not find any association between SNPs rs6921438 and rs10738760, and the risk of T2D, diabetic nephropathy or retinopathy. The link between VEGF and T2D and its complications might be indirect and more complex than expected.
PMCID: PMC3566098  PMID: 23405237
24.  Clinical and Metabolic Features of Adult-Onset Diabetes Caused by ABCC8 Mutations 
Diabetes Care  2012;35(2):248-251.
Gain-of-function ABCC8/sulfonylurea (SU) receptor 1 mutations cause neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM) or late-onset diabetes in adult relatives. Given the effectiveness of SU treatment in ABCC8-NDM patients, we further characterized late-onset ABCC8-associated diabetes.
Seven adult subjects from three NDM families and one family with type 2 diabetes were studied. Insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity were assessed using clamp techniques. We screened 139 type 2 diabetic patients who were well controlled by SU for ABCC8 mutations.
ABCC8 mutation carriers exhibited glucose intolerance, frank diabetes, or insulin-requiring diabetes since diagnosis. HbA1c improved in five SU-treated patients. Insulin secretion capacity was impaired in three patients compared with adult control subjects but was restored after a 4-week SU trial in two patients. Cohort screening revealed four SU-treated patients with ABCC8 mutations, two of which are likely causal.
Although of rare occurrence, recognition of adult-onset ABCC8-associated diabetes may help in targeting patients for SU therapy.
PMCID: PMC3263906  PMID: 22210575
25.  Heterozygous Mutations Causing Partial Prohormone Convertase 1 Deficiency Contribute to Human Obesity 
Diabetes  2012;61(2):383-390.
Null mutations in the PCSK1 gene, encoding the proprotein convertase 1/3 (PC1/3), cause recessive monogenic early onset obesity. Frequent coding variants that modestly impair PC1/3 function mildly increase the risk for common obesity. The aim of this study was to determine the contribution of rare functional PCSK1 mutations to obesity. PCSK1 exons were sequenced in 845 nonconsanguineous extremely obese Europeans. Eight novel nonsynonymous PCSK1 mutations were identified, all heterozygous. Seven mutations had a deleterious effect on either the maturation or the enzymatic activity of PC1/3 in cell lines. Of interest, five of these novel mutations, one of the previously described frequent variants (N221D), and the mutation found in an obese mouse model (N222D), affect residues at or near the structural calcium binding site Ca-1. The prevalence of the newly identified mutations was assessed in 6,233 obese and 6,274 lean European adults and children, which showed that carriers of any of these mutations causing partial PCSK1 deficiency had an 8.7-fold higher risk to be obese than wild-type carriers. These results provide the first evidence of an increased risk of obesity in heterozygous carriers of mutations in the PCSK1 gene. Furthermore, mutations causing partial PCSK1 deficiency are present in 0.83% of extreme obesity phenotypes.
PMCID: PMC3266396  PMID: 22210313

Results 1-25 (102)