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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Mar 7;302(2):342-4.

PAX4 mutation (R121W) as a prodiabetic variant in Okinawans.

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  • 1Second Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of the Ryukyus, Nishihara-shi, Okinawa, Japan.


We previously reported that a missense mutation at codon 121 (CGG(Arg) to TGG(Trp), R121W) of PAX4 may be associated with the onset of type 2 diabetes in Japanese. In this study, we determined the frequency of the R121W mutation of PAX4 and characterized the prodiabetic phenotype in a population-based study. Healthy 372 residents participated in annual health check-ups in Nishihara (Okinawa, Japan) and unrelated 193 type 2 diabetic patients from the outpatient clinic of Ryukyu University Hospital were enrolled. Diagnosis of diabetes was based on the 1997 American Diabetes Association criteria. The R121W mutation in PAX4 was genotyped by PCR-RFLP analysis. In healthy residents, R121W mutation was detected in 12 of 372 residents (3.1%). The prevalence of newly diagnosed type 3 diabetes (25% vs. 5%, p=0.004) and HbA(1c) (5.6+/-1.9 vs. 5.1+/-0.7, p=0.026) was higher in the variants than in the wild-types. The odds ratio of diabetes in the R121W variants was 5.98 with 95% confidence interval from 1.50 to 23.9. The R121W mutation was observed in 12 of the 193 type 2 diabetic patients (6.2%). Onset-ages of diabetes were earlier (37+/-10 vs. 47+/-13 years, p=0.010) and the rate of insulin user was two times higher (83% vs. 41%, p=0.005) in the variants. The R121W mutation in PAX4 is a predisposing factor for the development of type 2 diabetes in Okinawans.

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