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J Hum Genet. 2006;51(6):567-74. Epub 2006 May 24.

A common functional exon polymorphism in the microsomal triglyceride transfer protein gene is associated with type 2 diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism and insulin levels.

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  • 1Institute of Physiology and Biochemistry of Nutrition, Federal Research Center of Nutrition and Food, Hermann-Weigmann-Str. 1, 24103, Kiel, Germany.


The microsomal triglyceride transfer protein (MTP) is required for the assembly and secretion of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins. Emerging evidence has indicated that the functional MTP exon polymorphism I128T is associated with dyslipidemia and other traits of the insulin-resistance syndrome, and the T128 variant seems to confer a reduced stability of MTP, resulting in reduced binding of LDL particles. The aim of the study was to elucidate the association of this MTP polymorphism with parameters of postprandial metabolism. A total of 716 male subjects from a postprandially characterized cohort (MICK) and a nested case-control study (EPIC) of 190 incident type 2 diabetes cases and 380 sex- or age-matched controls were genotyped for the I128T exon polymorphism. In comparison to homozygote subjects of the wild allele, carriers of the less common allele of the MTP T128 genotype showed significantly lower postprandial insulin levels (P=0.017), lower diastolic blood pressure (P=0.049) and had a lower prevalence of impaired glucose metabolism and diabetes type 2 (P=0.03) in the MICK. Consistent with this, we found a lower incidence of type 2 diabetes in male subjects of the nested case-control study in the T128 genotype (P=0.007). These results suggest that the rare allele of the MTP I128T polymorphism may be protective against impaired glucose tolerance, type 2 diabetes and other parameters of the metabolic syndrome.

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