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Diabetes. 2004 Dec;53(12):3337-41.

Polymorphisms in both promoters of hepatocyte nuclear factor 4-alpha are associated with type 2 diabetes in the Amish.

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  • 1Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21201, USA.


Hepatocyte nuclear factor 4-alpha (HNF4A) is a transcription factor located on chromosome 20q13 that regulates expression of genes involved in glucose metabolism and homeostasis. Recently, two groups independently identified single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) in an alternate upstream promoter (P2) of HNF4A that were associated with type 2 diabetes in Ashkenazi Jews and Finns. We genotyped haplotype-tagging SNPs (htSNPs) across the two promoter regions and the coding region of HNF4A in individuals with type 2 diabetes (n = 137), impaired glucose tolerance (IGT) (n = 139), and normal glucose tolerance (n = 342) from the Amish Family Diabetes Study (AFDS) to test for association with type 2 diabetes. In the P1 promoter region, we observed a significant association between the A allele of rs2425640 and type 2 diabetes (odds ratio [OR] 1.60, P = 0.03). Furthermore, the mean age of type 2 diabetes onset was, on average, 5.1 years earlier in those with the AA or GA genotype at SNP rs2425640 than in those with the GG genotype (57.8 vs. 62.9 years, P = 0.011). In the P2 promoter, the htSNP rs1884614 showed borderline association with both type 2 diabetes (OR 1.40, P = 0.09) and the combined type 2 diabetes/IGT trait (1.35, P = 0.07). In an expanded set of 698 nondiabetic AFDS subjects, we found association between rs1884614 and glucose area under the curve during an oral glucose tolerance test (additive model, P = 0.022; dominant model, P = 0.010). The results of this study provide evidence that variants in both the P1 and P2 promoters of HNF4A increase risk for typical type 2 diabetes.

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