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Diabetes. 2006 Apr;55(4):1171-6.

EIF4A2 is a positional candidate gene at the 3q27 locus linked to type 2 diabetes in French families.

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CNRS UMR 8090, Biology Institute & Pasteur Institute of Lille, 1 rue du Professeur Calmette, BP 245, 59019 Lille, France.


One of the most replicated loci influencing type 2 diabetes-related quantitative traits (quantitative trait loci [QTL]) is on chromosome 3q27 and modulates both type 2 diabetes-and metabolic syndrome-associated phenotypes. A QTL for type 2 diabetes age of onset (logarithm of odds [LOD] score = 3.01 at D3S3686, P = 0.0001) was identified in a set of French families. To assess genetic variation underlying both age-of-onset QTL and our previous type 2 diabetes linkage in a 3.87-Mb interval, we explored 36 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in two biologically relevant candidate genes for glucose homeostasis, kininogen (KNG1), and eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4alpha2 (EIF4A2). Analysis of 148 families showed significant association of a frequent SNP, rs266714, located 2.47 kb upstream of EIF4A2, with familial type 2 diabetes (family-based association test, P = 0.0008) and early age of onset (P = 0.0008). This SNP also contributes to both age-of-onset QTL (1.13 LOD score decrease P = 0.02) and type 2 diabetes linkage (genotype identical-by-descent sharing test, P = 0.02). However, no association was observed in three independent European diabetic cohorts. EIF4A2 controls specific mRNA translation and protein synthesis rate in pancreatic beta-cells, and our data indicates that EIF4A2 is downregulated by high glucose in rat beta-INS832/13 cells. The potential role of EIF4A2 in glucose homeostasis and its putative contribution to type 2 diabetes in the presence of metabolic stress will require further investigation.

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