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Diabetes. 2005 Oct;54(10):3035-9.

Variants in hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha are modestly associated with type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians.

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  • 1Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease, National Institutes of Health, Phoenix, AZ 85016, USA.


Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within the hepatocyte nuclear factor 4alpha (HNF4alpha) gene are associated with type 2 diabetes in Finns and Ashkenazi Jews. Previous studies in both populations have reported linkage to type 2 diabetes near the HNF4alpha locus on chromosome 20q12-13. To investigate whether HNF4alpha is a diabetes susceptibility gene in Pima Indians, a population with the highest reported prevalence of type 2 diabetes but with no evidence for linkage of the disease on chromosome 20q, 19 SNPs across the promoter and coding region of HNF4alpha were genotyped for association analysis. In a group of 1,037 Pima Indians (573 diabetic and 464 nondiabetic subjects), three SNPs in HNF4alpha (rs3212183 and rs2071197 located in introns 3 and 1, respectively, and rs6031558, an extremely rare SNP located in the P2 promoter region) were modestly associated with type 2 diabetes (rs3212183 odds ratio [OR] 1.34 [95% CI 1.07-1.67], P = 0.009; rs2071197 1.34 [1.07-1.66], P = 0.008; and rs6031558 3.18 [1.03-9.84], P = 0.04, adjusted for age, sex, birth year, heritage, and family membership). We conclude that variants in HNF4alpha do not appear to be major determinants for type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians; however, HNF4alpha may have a minor role in type 2 diabetes susceptibility within this Native American population.

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