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.
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.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
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.
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.
It has recently been suggested that the low-frequency c.136–14_136–13insC variant in high-mobility group A1 (HMGA1) may strongly contribute to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes risk. In our study, we attempted to confirm that HMGA1 is a novel type 2 diabetes locus in French Caucasians. The gene was sequenced in 368 type 2 diabetic case subjects with a family history of type 2 diabetes and 372 normoglycemic control subjects without a family history of type 2 diabetes. None of the 41 genetic variations identified were associated with type 2 diabetes. The lack of association between the c.136–14_136–13insC variant and type 2 diabetes was confirmed in an independent French group of 4,538 case subjects and 4,015 control subjects and in a large meta-analysis of 16,605 case subjects and 46,179 control subjects. Finally, this variant had no effects on metabolic traits and was not involved in variations of HMGA1 and insulin receptor (INSR) expressions. The c.136–14_136–13insC variant was not associated with type 2 diabetes in individuals of European descent. Our study emphasizes the need to analyze a large number of subjects to reliably assess the association of low-frequency variants with the disease.
Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) and previous positional linkage studies have identified more than 50 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with obesity, mostly in Europeans. We aimed to assess the contribution of some of these SNPs to obesity risk and to the variation of related metabolic traits, in Mexican children.
The association of six European obesity-related SNPs in or near FTO, NPC1, ENPP1, NEGR1, GNPDA2 and MC4R genes with risk of obesity was tested in 1,463 school-aged Mexican children (Ncases = 514; Ncontrols = 949). We also assessed effects of these SNPs on the variation of body mass index (BMI), fasting serum insulin levels, fasting plasma glucose levels, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in a subset of 1,171 nonobese Mexican children.
We found a significant effect of GNPDA2 rs10938397 on risk of obesity (odds ratio [OR] = 1.30; P = 1.34 × 10-3). Furthermore, we found nominal associations between obesity risk or BMI variation and the following SNPs: ENPP1 rs7754561, MC4R rs17782313 and NEGR1 rs2815752. Importantly, the at-risk alleles of both MC4R rs17782313 and NPC1 rs1805081 showed significant effect on increased fasting glucose levels (β = 0.36 mmol/L; P = 1.47 × 10-3) and decreased fasting serum insulin levels (β = −0.10 μU/mL; P = 1.21 × 10-3), respectively.
Our present results suggest that some obesity-associated SNPs previously reported in Europeans also associate with risk of obesity, or metabolic quantitative traits, in Mexican children. Importantly, we found new associations between MC4R and fasting glucose levels, and between NPC1 and fasting insulin levels.
Obesity; Mexican children; Single nucleotide polymorphism
Genome-wide association (GWA) studies have shown that a polymorphic variant in SLC30A8, which encodes zinc transporter-8 (ZnT-8), is associated with altered susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (T2D). This association is consistent with the observation that glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is decreased in islets isolated from Slc30a8 knockout mice. In the present study immunohistochemical staining was first used to show that SLC30A8 is expressed specifically in pancreatic islets. Fusion gene studies were then used to examine the molecular basis for the islet-specific expression of SLC30A8. The analysis of SLC30A8-luciferase expression in βTC-3 cells revealed that the proximal promoter region, located between −6154 and −1, relative to the translation start site, was only active in stable but not transient transfections. VISTA analyses identified three regions in the SLC30A8 promoter and a region in SLC30A8 intron 2 that are conserved in the mouse Slc30a8 gene. Additional fusion gene experiments demonstrated that none of these Slc30a8 promoter regions exhibited enhancer activity when ligated to a heterologous promoter whereas the conserved region in SLC30A8 intron 2 conferred elevated reporter gene expression selectively in βTC-3 but not αTC-6 cells. Finally, the functional effects of a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs62510556, in this conserved intron 2 enhancer were investigated. Gel retardation studies showed that rs62510556 affects the binding of an unknown transcription factor and fusion gene analyses showed that it modulates enhancer activity. However genetic analyses suggest that this SNP is not a causal variant that contributes to the association between SLC30A8 and T2D, at least in Europeans.
pancreas; transcription; promoter; diabetes; zinc
Prevention of obesity should start as early as possible after birth. We aimed to build clinically useful equations estimating the risk of later obesity in newborns, as a first step towards focused early prevention against the global obesity epidemic.
We analyzed the lifetime Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (NFBC1986) (N = 4,032) to draw predictive equations for childhood and adolescent obesity from traditional risk factors (parental BMI, birth weight, maternal gestational weight gain, behaviour and social indicators), and a genetic score built from 39 BMI/obesity-associated polymorphisms. We performed validation analyses in a retrospective cohort of 1,503 Italian children and in a prospective cohort of 1,032 U.S. children.
In the NFBC1986, the cumulative accuracy of traditional risk factors predicting childhood obesity, adolescent obesity, and childhood obesity persistent into adolescence was good: AUROC = 0·78[0·74–0.82], 0·75[0·71–0·79] and 0·85[0·80–0·90] respectively (all p<0·001). Adding the genetic score produced discrimination improvements ≤1%. The NFBC1986 equation for childhood obesity remained acceptably accurate when applied to the Italian and the U.S. cohort (AUROC = 0·70[0·63–0·77] and 0·73[0·67–0·80] respectively) and the two additional equations for childhood obesity newly drawn from the Italian and the U.S. datasets showed good accuracy in respective cohorts (AUROC = 0·74[0·69–0·79] and 0·79[0·73–0·84]) (all p<0·001). The three equations for childhood obesity were converted into simple Excel risk calculators for potential clinical use.
This study provides the first example of handy tools for predicting childhood obesity in newborns by means of easily recorded information, while it shows that currently known genetic variants have very little usefulness for such prediction.
To assess the impact of genetic susceptibility on evolution toward type 2 diabetes (T2D) by analyzing time trajectories of fasting glucose, glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), insulin sensitivity (homeostasis model assessment [HOMA2%S]), and β-cell secretion (HOMA2%B) in a large nondiabetic cohort. We also examined whether baseline HbA1c modified the effect of genetic predisposition on the time trajectories.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Time trajectories were drawn in 4,744 participants from the French Data from an Epidemiological Study on the Insulin Resistance Syndrome (D.E.S.I.R.) cohort based on samples collected every 3 years over a 9-year follow-up. Trajectories were analyzed according to the TCF7L2 common variant, a family history of T2D, and a combination of at-risk alleles from nine T2D-associated genes.
There was a marked decrease in HOMA2%B in parallel to a steep increase in HbA1c over the 3 years before incident diabetes, which was not influenced by genetic predisposition when considered alone. However, after the onset of T2D, the TCF7L2 at-risk variant was associated with a greater decrease in HOMA2%B. There was a joint effect of a family history of T2D with the presence of the TCF7L2 risk allele with a greater rise in HbA1c conferred by the coexistence of a family history and the T risk allele. An HbA1c ≥5.7% at baseline was associated with a greater increase in both glycemia and HbA1c levels in the presence of a combination of diabetes at-risk alleles.
After incident T2D, TCF7L2 at-risk variants were associated with a faster decrease in β-cell function compared with those with the CC genotype. There was a joint effect of family history of T2D and TCF7L2 risk variant on the rise in glycemia and the decrease in insulin secretion at the end of follow-up, suggesting the joint influence of the combination of diabetes genetic predisposition with familial factors on the evolution of glycemia over time.
Summary: A program package to enable genome-wide association of copy number variants (CNVs) with quantitative phenotypes in families of arbitrary size and complexity. Intensity signals that act as proxies for the number of copies are modeled in a variance component framework and association with traits is assessed through formal likelihood testing.
Availability and implementation: The Java package is made available at www.imperial.ac.uk/medicine/people/m.falchi/.
Seven genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have been published in AIDS and only associations in the HLA region on chromosome 6 and CXCR6 have passed genome-wide significance.
We reanalyzed the data from three previously published GWAS, targeting specifically low frequency SNPs (minor allele frequency (MAF)<5%). Two groups composed of 365 slow progressors (SP) and 147 rapid progressors (RP) from Europe and the US were compared with a control group of 1394 seronegative individuals using Eigenstrat corrections.
Of the 8584 SNPs with MAF<5% in cases and controls (Bonferroni threshold=5.8×10−6), four SNPs showed statistical evidence of association with the SP phenotype. The best result was for HCP5 rs2395029 (p=8.54×10−15, OR=3.41) in the HLA locus, in partial linkage disequilibrium with two additional chromosome 6 associations in C6orf48 (p=3.03×10−10, OR=2.9) and NOTCH4 (9.08×10−07, OR=2.32). The fourth association corresponded to rs2072255 located in RICH2 (p=3.30×10−06, OR=0.43) in chromosome 17. Using HCP5 rs2395029 as a covariate, the C6orf48 and NOTCH4 signals disappeared, but the RICH2 signal still remained significant.
Besides the already known chromosome 6 associations, the analysis of low frequency SNPs brought up a new association in the RICH2 gene. Interestingly, RICH2 interacts with BST-2 known to be a major restriction factor for HIV-1 infection. Our study has thus identified a new candidate gene for AIDS molecular etiology and confirms the interest of singling out low frequency SNPs in order to exploit GWAS data.
AIDS; HIV-1; genome-wide association study; SNP; disease progression; RICH2
Although interleukin (IL)-7 is mostly known as a key regulator of lymphocyte homeostasis, we recently demonstrated that it also contributes to body weight regulation through a hypothalamic control. Previous studies have shown that IL-7 is produced by the human obese white adipose tissue (WAT) yet its potential role on WAT development and function in obesity remains unknown. Here, we first show that transgenic mice overexpressing IL-7 have reduced adipose tissue mass associated with glucose and insulin resistance. Moreover, in the high-fat diet (HFD)-induced obesity model, a single administration of IL-7 to C57BL/6 mice is sufficient to prevent HFD-induced WAT mass increase and glucose intolerance. This metabolic protective effect is accompanied by a significant decreased inflammation in WAT. In lymphocyte-deficient HFD-fed SCID mice, IL-7 injection still protects from WAT mass gain. However, IL-7-triggered resistance against WAT inflammation and glucose intolerance is lost in SCID mice. These results suggest that IL-7 regulates adipose tissue mass through a lymphocyte-independent mechanism while its protective role on glucose homeostasis would be relayed by immune cells that participate to WAT inflammation. Our observations establish a key role for IL-7 in the complex mechanisms by which immune mediators modulate metabolic functions.
Enhancers are developmentally controlled transcriptional regulatory regions whose activities are modulated through histone modifications or histone variant deposition. In this study, we show by genome-wide mapping that the newly discovered deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) modification 5-hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC) is dynamically associated with transcription factor binding to distal regulatory sites during neural differentiation of mouse P19 cells and during adipocyte differentiation of mouse 3T3-L1 cells. Functional annotation reveals that regions gaining 5hmC are associated with genes expressed either in neural tissues when P19 cells undergo neural differentiation or in adipose tissue when 3T3-L1 cells undergo adipocyte differentiation. Furthermore, distal regions gaining 5hmC together with H3K4me2 and H3K27ac in P19 cells behave as differentiation-dependent transcriptional enhancers. Identified regions are enriched in motifs for transcription factors regulating specific cell fates such as Meis1 in P19 cells and PPARγ in 3T3-L1 cells. Accordingly, a fraction of hydroxymethylated Meis1 sites were associated with a dynamic engagement of the 5-methylcytosine hydroxylase Tet1. In addition, kinetic studies of cytosine hydroxymethylation of selected enhancers indicated that DNA hydroxymethylation is an early event of enhancer activation. Hence, acquisition of 5hmC in cell-specific distal regulatory regions may represent a major event of enhancer progression toward an active state and participate in selective activation of tissue-specific genes.
Maturity-onset of the young (MODY) is a clinically heterogeneous form of diabetes characterized by an autosomal-dominant mode of inheritance, an onset before the age of 25 years, and a primary defect in the pancreatic beta-cell function. Approximately 30% of MODY families remain genetically unexplained (MODY-X). Here, we aimed to use whole-exome sequencing (WES) in a four-generation MODY-X family to identify a new susceptibility gene for MODY.
WES (Agilent-SureSelect capture/Illumina-GAIIx sequencing) was performed in three affected and one non-affected relatives in the MODY-X family. We then performed a high-throughput multiplex genotyping (Illumina-GoldenGate assay) of the putative causal mutations in the whole family and in 406 controls. A linkage analysis was also carried out.
By focusing on variants of interest (i.e. gains of stop codon, frameshift, non-synonymous and splice-site variants not reported in dbSNP130) present in the three affected relatives and not present in the control, we found 69 mutations. However, as WES was not uniform between samples, a total of 324 mutations had to be assessed in the whole family and in controls. Only one mutation (p.Glu227Lys in KCNJ11) co-segregated with diabetes in the family (with a LOD-score of 3.68). No KCNJ11 mutation was found in 25 other MODY-X unrelated subjects.
Beyond neonatal diabetes mellitus (NDM), KCNJ11 is also a MODY gene (‘MODY13’), confirming the wide spectrum of diabetes related phenotypes due to mutations in NDM genes (i.e. KCNJ11, ABCC8 and INS). Therefore, the molecular diagnosis of MODY should include KCNJ11 as affected carriers can be ideally treated with oral sulfonylureas.
We previously identified via a genome wide association study variants near LEKR and CCNL1 and in the ADCY5 genes lead to lower birthweight. Here, we study the impact of these variants and social stress during pregnancy, defined as social adversity and neighborhood disparity, on infant birth size. We aimed to determine whether the addition of genetic variance magnified the observed associations.
We analyzed data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1986 (n = 5369). Social adversity was defined by young maternal age (<20 years), low maternal education (<11 years), and/or single marital status. Neighborhood social disparity was assessed by discrepancy between neighborhoods relative to personal socio-economic status. These variables are indicative of social and socioeconomic stress, but also of biological risk. The adjusted multiple regression analysis showed smaller birth size in both infants of mothers who experienced social adversity (birthweight by −40.4 g, 95%CI −61.4, −19.5; birth length −0.14 cm, 95%CI −0.23, −0.05; head circumference −0.09 cm 95%CI −0.15, −0.02) and neighborhood disparity (birthweight −28.8 g, 95%CI −47.7, −10.0; birth length −0.12 cm, 95%CI −0.20, −0.05). The birthweight-lowering risk allele (SNP rs900400 near LEKR and CCNL1) magnified this association in an additive manner. However, likely due to sample size restriction, this association was not significant for the SNP rs9883204 in ADCY5. Birth size difference due to social stress was greater in the presence of birthweight-lowering alleles.
Social adversity, neighborhood disparity, and genetic variants have independent associations with infant birth size in the mutually adjusted analyses. If the newborn carried a risk allele rs900400 near LEKR/CCNL1, the impact of stress on birth size was stronger. These observations give support to the hypothesis that individuals with genetic or other biological risk are more vulnerable to environmental influences. Our study indicates the need for further research to understand the mechanisms by which genes impact individual vulnerability to environmental insults.
To investigate whether associations of common genetic variants recently identified for fasting glucose or insulin levels in nondiabetic adults are detectable in healthy children and adolescents.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
A total of 16 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) associated with fasting glucose were genotyped in six studies of children and adolescents of European origin, including over 6,000 boys and girls aged 9–16 years. We performed meta-analyses to test associations of individual SNPs and a weighted risk score of the 16 loci with fasting glucose.
Nine loci were associated with glucose levels in healthy children and adolescents, with four of these associations reported in previous studies and five reported here for the first time (GLIS3, PROX1, SLC2A2, ADCY5, and CRY2). Effect sizes were similar to those in adults, suggesting age-independent effects of these fasting glucose loci. Children and adolescents carrying glucose-raising alleles of G6PC2, MTNR1B, GCK, and GLIS3 also showed reduced β-cell function, as indicated by homeostasis model assessment of β-cell function. Analysis using a weighted risk score showed an increase [β (95% CI)] in fasting glucose level of 0.026 mmol/L (0.021–0.031) for each unit increase in the score.
Novel fasting glucose loci identified in genome-wide association studies of adults are associated with altered fasting glucose levels in healthy children and adolescents with effect sizes comparable to adults. In nondiabetic adults, fasting glucose changes little over time, and our results suggest that age-independent effects of fasting glucose loci contribute to long-term interindividual differences in glucose levels from childhood onwards.
The Nuclear Receptor 2F2 (NR2F2/COUP-TFII) heterozygous knockout mice display low basal insulinemia and enhanced insulin sensitivity. We previously established that insulin represses NR2F2 gene expression in pancreatic β-cells. The cis-regulatory region of the NR2F2 promoter is unknown and its influence on metabolism in humans is poorly understood. The present study aimed to identify the regulatory regions that control NR2F2 gene transcription and to evaluate the effect of NR2F2 promoter variation on glucose homeostasis in humans.
Regulation of the NR2F2 promoter was assessed using gene reporter assays, ChIP and gel shift experiments. The effects of variation at SNP rs3743462 in NR2F2 on quantitative metabolic traits were studied in two European prospective cohorts. We identified a minimal promoter region that down-regulates NR2F2 expression by attenuating HNF4α activation in response to high glucose concentrations. Subjects of the French DESIR population, who carried the rs3743462 T-to-C polymorphism, located in the distal glucose-responsive promoter, displayed lower basal insulin levels and lower HOMA-IR index. The C-allele at rs3743462 was associated with increased NR2F2 binding and decreased NR2F2 gene expression.
The rs3743462 polymorphism affects glucose-responsive NR2F2 promoter regulation and thereby may influence whole-body insulin sensitivity, suggesting a role of NR2F2 in the control of glucose homeostasis in humans.
Haptoglobin is an acute phase inflammatory marker. Its main function is to bind hemoglobin released from erythrocytes to aid its elimination, and thereby haptoglobin prevents the generation of reactive oxygen species in the blood. Haptoglobin levels have been repeatedly associated with a variety of inflammation-linked infectious and non-infectious diseases, including malaria, tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C, diabetes, carotid atherosclerosis, and acute myocardial infarction. However, a comprehensive genetic assessment of the inter-individual variability of circulating haptoglobin levels has not been conducted so far.
We used a genome-wide association study initially conducted in 631 French children followed by a replication in three additional European sample sets and we identified a common single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs2000999 located in the Haptoglobin gene (HP) as a strong genetic predictor of circulating Haptoglobin levels (Poverall = 8.1×10−59), explaining 45.4% of its genetic variability (11.8% of Hp global variance). The functional relevance of rs2000999 was further demonstrated by its specific association with HP mRNA levels (β = 0.23±0.08, P = 0.007). Finally, SNP rs2000999 was associated with decreased total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in 8,789 European children (Ptotal cholesterol = 0.002 and PLDL = 0.0008).
Given the central position of haptoglobin in many inflammation-related metabolic pathways, the relevance of rs2000999 genotyping when evaluating haptoglobin concentration should be further investigated in order to improve its diagnostic/therapeutic and/or prevention impact.
Background: The glucose sensor PAS kinase (PASK) plays a fundamental role in pancreatic islet physiology.
Results: A single amino acid substitution in the human PASK kinase domain stimulates enzyme activity and increases insulin secretion at low glucose.
Conclusion: A rare, naturally occurring mutation in PASK modulates insulin release in man.
Significance: We provide direct genetic evidence for a role for PASK in controlling insulin secretion in man.
PAS kinase (PASK) is a glucose-regulated protein kinase involved in the control of pancreatic islet hormone release and insulin sensitivity. We aimed here to identify mutations in the PASK gene that may be associated with young-onset diabetes in humans. We screened 18 diabetic probands with unelucidated maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). We identified two rare nonsynonymous mutations in the PASK gene (p.L1051V and p.G1117E), each of which was found in a single MODY family. Wild type or mutant PASKs were expressed in HEK 293 cells. Kinase activity of the affinity-purified proteins was assayed as autophosphorylation at amino acid Thr307 or against an Ugp1p-derived peptide. Whereas the PASK p.G1117E mutant displayed a ∼25% increase with respect to wild type PASK in the extent of autophosphorylation, and a ∼2-fold increase in kinase activity toward exogenous substrates, the activity of the p.L1051V mutant was unchanged. Amino acid Gly1117 is located in an α helical region opposing the active site of PASK and may elicit either: (a) a conformational change that increases catalytic efficiency or (b) a diminished inhibitory interaction with the PAS domain. Mouse islets were therefore infected with adenoviruses expressing wild type or mutant PASK and the regulation of insulin secretion was examined. PASK p.G1117E-infected islets displayed a 4-fold decrease in glucose-stimulated (16.7 versus 3 mm) insulin secretion, chiefly reflecting a 4.5-fold increase in insulin release at low glucose. In summary, we have characterized a rare mutation (p.G1117E) in the PASK gene from a young-onset diabetes family, which modulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.
Diabetes; Glucose; Insulin Secretion; Pancreatic Islets; Protein Kinases; Functional Genomics
A genome-wide association study (GWAS) in Pima Indians (n = 413) identified variation in the ataxin-2 binding protein 1 gene (A2BP1) that was associated with percent body fat. On the basis of this association and the obese phenotype of ataxin-2 knockout mice, A2BP1 was genetically and functionally analyzed to assess its potential role in human obesity.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
Variants spanning A2BP1 were genotyped in a population-based sample of 3,234 full-heritage Pima Indians, 2,843 of whom were not part of the initial GWAS study and therefore could serve as a sample to assess replication. Published GWAS data across A2BP1 were additionally analyzed in French adult (n = 1,426) and children case/control subjects (n = 1,392) (Meyre et al. Nat Genet 2009;41:157–159). Selected variants were genotyped in two additional samples of Caucasians (Amish, n = 1,149, and German children case/control subjects, n = 998) and one additional Native American (n = 2,531) sample. Small interfering RNA was used to knockdown A2bp1 message levels in mouse embryonic hypothalamus cells.
No single variant in A2BP1 was reproducibly associated with obesity across the different populations. However, different variants within intron 1 of A2BP1 were associated with BMI in full-heritage Pima Indians (rs10500331, P = 1.9 × 10−7) and obesity in French Caucasian adult (rs4786847, P = 1.9 × 10−10) and children (rs8054147, P = 9.2 × 10−6) case/control subjects. Reduction of A2bp1 in mouse embryonic hypothalamus cells decreased expression of Atxn2, Insr, and Mc4r.
Association analysis suggests that variation in A2BP1 influences obesity, and functional studies suggest that A2BP1 could potentially affect adiposity via the hypothalamic MC4R pathway.
Genome-wide association studies have identified a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), rs560887, located in a G6PC2 intron that is highly correlated with variations in fasting plasma glucose (FPG). G6PC2 encodes an islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit. This study examines the contribution of two G6PC2 promoter SNPs, rs13431652 and rs573225, to the association signal.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
We genotyped 9,532 normal FPG participants (FPG <6.1 mmol/l) for three G6PC2 SNPs, rs13431652 (distal promoter), rs573225 (proximal promoter), rs560887 (3rd intron). We used regression analyses adjusted for age, sex, and BMI to assess the association with FPG and haplotype analyses to assess comparative SNP contributions. Fusion gene and gel retardation analyses characterized the effect of rs13431652 and rs573225 on G6PC2 promoter activity and transcription factor binding.
Genetic analyses provide evidence for a strong contribution of the promoter SNPs to FPG variability at the G6PC2 locus (rs13431652: β = 0.075, P = 3.6 × 10−35; rs573225 β = 0.073 P = 3.6 × 10−34), in addition to rs560887 (β = 0.071, P = 1.2 × 10−31). The rs13431652-A and rs573225-A alleles promote increased NF-Y and Foxa2 binding, respectively. The rs13431652-A allele is associated with increased FPG and elevated promoter activity, consistent with the function of G6PC2 in pancreatic islets. In contrast, the rs573225-A allele is associated with elevated FPG but reduced promoter activity.
Genetic and in situ functional data support a potential role for rs13431652, but not rs573225, as a causative SNP linking G6PC2 to variations in FPG, though a causative role for rs573225 in vivo cannot be ruled out.
Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) catalyzes the first and rate-limiting step of the kynurenine pathway that is an important component of immunomodulatory and neuromodulatory processes. The IDO1 gene is highly inducible by IFN-γ and TNF-α through interaction with cis-acting regulatory elements of the promoter region. Accordingly, functional polymorphisms in the IDO1 promoter could partly explain the interindividual variability in IDO expression that has been previously documented.
A PCR-sequencing strategy, applied to DNA samples from healthy Caucasians, allowed us to identify a VNTR polymorphism in the IDO1 promoter, which correlates significantly with serum tryptophan concentration, controlled partially by IDO activity, in female subjects, but not in males. Although this VNTR does not appear to affect basal or cytokine-induced promoter activity in gene reporter assays, it contains novel cis-acting elements. Three putative LEF-1 binding sites, one being located within the VNTR repeat motif, were predicted in silico and confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. Overexpression of LEF-1 in luciferase assays confirmed an interaction between LEF-1 and the predicted transcription factor binding sites, and modification of the LEF-1 core sequence within the VNTR repeat motif, by site-directed mutagenesis, resulted in an increase in promoter activity.
The identification of a VNTR in the IDO1 promoter revealed a cis-acting element interacting with the most downstream factor of the Wnt signaling pathway, suggesting novel mechanisms of regulation of IDO1 expression. These data offer new insights, and suggest further studies, into the role of IDO in various pathological conditions, particularly in cancer where IDO and the Wnt pathway are strongly dysregulated.
Background. The compilation of previous genomewide association studies of AIDS shows a major polymorphism in the HCP5 gene associated with both control of the viral load and long-term nonprogression (LTNP) to AIDS.
Methods. To look for genetic variants that affect LTNP without necessary control of the viral load, we reanalyzed the genomewide data of the unique LTNP Genomics of Resistance to Immunodeficiency Virus (GRIV) cohort by excluding “elite controller” patients, who were controlling the viral load at very low levels (<100 copies/mL).
Results. The rs2234358 polymorphism in the CXCR6 gene was the strongest signal (P = 2.5 × 10−7; odds ratio, 1.85) obtained for the genomewide association study comparing the 186 GRIV LTNPs who were not elite controllers with 697 uninfected control subjects. This association was replicated in 3 additional independent European studies, reaching genomewide significance of Pcombined = 9.7 × 10−10. This association with LTNP is independent of the combined CCR2-CCR5 locus and the HCP5 polymorphisms.
Conclusion. The statistical significance, the replication, and the magnitude of the association demonstrate that CXCR6 is likely involved in the molecular etiology of AIDS and, in particular, in LTNP, emphasizing the power of extreme-phenotype cohorts. CXCR6 is a chemokine receptor that is known as a minor coreceptor in human immunodeficiency virus type 1 infection but could participate in disease progression through its role as a mediator of inflammation.
We propose an innovative, integrated, cost-effective health system to combat major non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular, chronic respiratory, metabolic, rheumatologic and neurologic disorders and cancers, which together are the predominant health problem of the 21st century. This proposed holistic strategy involves comprehensive patient-centered integrated care and multi-scale, multi-modal and multi-level systems approaches to tackle NCDs as a common group of diseases. Rather than studying each disease individually, it will take into account their intertwined gene-environment, socio-economic interactions and co-morbidities that lead to individual-specific complex phenotypes. It will implement a road map for predictive, preventive, personalized and participatory (P4) medicine based on a robust and extensive knowledge management infrastructure that contains individual patient information. It will be supported by strategic partnerships involving all stakeholders, including general practitioners associated with patient-centered care. This systems medicine strategy, which will take a holistic approach to disease, is designed to allow the results to be used globally, taking into account the needs and specificities of local economies and health systems.
Common variants in the melatonin receptor type 1B (MTNR1B) locus have been shown to increase fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and the risk of type 2 diabetes. The aims of this study were to evaluate whether nonsynonymous variants in MTNR1B associate with monogenic forms of hyperglycemia, type 2 diabetes, or related metabolic traits.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
MTNR1B was sequenced in 47 probands with clinical maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), in 51 probands with early-onset familial type 2 diabetes, and in 94 control individuals. Six nonsynonymous variants (G24E, L60R, V124I, R138C, R231H, and K243R) were genotyped in up to 22,142 Europeans. Constitutive and melatonin-induced signaling was characterized for the wild-type melatonin receptor type 1B (MT2) and the 24E, 60R, and 124I MT2 mutants in transfected COS-7 cells.
No mutations in MTNR1B were MODY specific, and none of the investigated MTNR1B variants associated with type 2 diabetes. The common 24E variant associated with increased prevalence of obesity (odds ratio 1.20 [1.08–1.34]; P = 8.3 × 10−4) and increased BMI (β = 0.5 kg/m2; P = 1.2 × 10−5) and waist circumference (β = 1.2 cm; P = 9 × 10−6) in combined Danish and French study samples. 24E also associated with decreased FPG (β = −0.08 mmol/l; P = 9.2 × 10−4) in the Danish Inter99 population. Slightly decreased constitutive activity was observed for the MT2 24E mutant, while the 124I and 60R mutants displayed considerably decreased or completely disrupted signaling, respectively.
Nonsynonymous mutations in MTNR1B are not a common cause of MODY or type 2 diabetes among Danes. MTNR1B 24E associates with increased body mass and decreased FPG. Decreased MT2 signaling does apparently not directly associate with FPG or type 2 diabetes.
Krüppel-like transcription factors (KLFs) have elicited significant attention because of their regulation of essential biochemical pathways and, more recently, because of their fundamental role in the mechanisms of human diseases. Neonatal diabetes mellitus is a monogenic disorder with primary alterations in insulin secretion. We here describe a key biochemical mechanism that underlies neonatal diabetes mellitus insulin biosynthesis impairment, namely a homozygous mutation within the insulin gene (INS) promoter, c.-331C>G, which affects a novel KLF-binding site. The combination of careful expression profiling, electromobility shift assays, reporter experiments, and chromatin immunoprecipitation demonstrates that, among 16 different KLF proteins tested, KLF11 is the most reliable activator of this site. Congruently, the c.-331C>G INS mutation fails to bind KLF11, thus inhibiting activation by this transcription factor. Klf11−/− mice recapitulate the disruption in insulin production and blood levels observed in patients. Thus, these data demonstrate an important role for KLF11 in the regulation of INS transcription via the novel c.-331 KLF site. Lastly, our screening data raised the possibility that other members of the KLF family may also regulate this promoter under distinct, yet unidentified, cellular contexts. Collectively, this study underscores a key role for KLF proteins in biochemical mechanisms of human diseases, in particular, early infancy onset diabetes mellitus.
Diabetes; Genetic Diseases; Glucose Metabolism; Pancreatic Islet; Transcription Regulation; KLF