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Diabetes. 2006 Apr;55(4):919-23.

A polymorphism in the AMPKalpha2 subunit gene is associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes in the Japanese population.

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Department of Metabolic Diseases, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Hongo 7-3-1, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan.


AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) acts as a fuel gauge for glucose and lipid metabolism. The gene encoding the alpha2 isoform of the catalytic subunit of AMPK (PRKAA2) is located at one of the Japanese type 2 diabetes loci mapped by our previous genome scan (1p36-32). PRKAA2 is, therefore, a good candidate gene for insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. We screened all nine exons, their exon-intron boundaries, and the 5' and 3' flanking regions of PRKAA2 to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), and we genotyped 192 type 2 diabetic patients and 272 nondiabetic subjects to assess possible associations between genotypes or haplotypes and type 2 diabetes. None of the 10 SNPs genotyped was associated with type 2 diabetes, but the haplotype analysis, consisting of six representative SNPs, revealed one haplotype, with the A (minor) allele for rs2051040 and a major allele for the other five SNPs, to be associated with type 2 diabetes (P = 0.009). This finding was confirmed in two larger replication samples (657 case and 360 control subjects, P = 0.021; and 356 case and 192 control subjects from the same area in Japan, P = 0.007) and a significant P value was obtained in the joint haplotype analysis of all samples (1,205 case and 824 control subjects, P = 0.0001). Furthermore, insulin resistance was associated with rs2051040 in nondiabetic subjects, and those with the A (minor) allele had a higher homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance index than those who did not (initial control subjects [n = 272], P = 0.002; and joint replication control subjects [n = 552], P = 0.037). We speculate that the PRKAA2 gene influences insulin resistance and susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in the Japanese population.

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