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Diabetes. 2002 Dec;51 Suppl 3:S358-62.

Nucleotide sensitivity of pancreatic ATP-sensitive potassium channels and type 2 diabetes.

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  • 1Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany.


Type 2 diabetes is generally perceived as a polygenic disorder, with disease development being influenced by both hereditary and environmental factors. However, despite intensive investigations, little progress has been made in identifying the genes that impart susceptibility to the common late-onset forms of the disease. E23K, a common single nucleotide polymorphism in K(IR)6.2, the pore-forming subunit of pancreatic beta-cell ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels, significantly enhances the spontaneous open probability of these channels, and thus modulates sensitivities toward inhibitory and activatory adenine nucleotides. Based on previous association studies, we present evidence that with an estimated attributable proportion of 15% in Caucasians, E23K in K(IR)6.2 appears to be the most important genetic risk factor for type 2 diabetes yet identified.

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