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Chin Med J (Engl). 2007 Nov 5;120(21):1878-85.

Association between peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator-1alpha gene polymorphisms and type 2 diabetes in southern Chinese population: role of altered interaction with myocyte enhancer factor 2C.

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  • 1Department of Endocrinology, Second Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China.



Some single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma coactivator (PGC)-1alpha gene have been reported to be associated with type 2 diabetes in different populations, and studies on Chinese patients yielded controversial results. The objective of this case-control study was to explore the relationship between SNPs of PGC-1alpha and type 2 diabetes in the southern Chinese population and to determine whether the common variants: Gly482Ser and Thr394Thr, in the PGC-1alpha gene have any impacts on interaction with myocyte enhancer factor (MEF) 2C.


The SNPs in all exons of the PGC-1alpha gene was investigated in 50 type 2 diabetic patients using polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformational polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) and direct sequencing. Thereafter, 263 type 2 diabetic patients and 282 healthy controls were genotyped by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP). A bacterial two-hybrid system and site-directed mutagenesis were used to investigate whether Gly482Ser and Thr394Thr variants in the PGC-1alpha gene alter the interaction with MEF2C.


Three frequent SNPs (Thr394Thr, Gly482Ser and Thr528Thr) were found in exons of the PGC-1alpha gene. Only the Gly482Ser variant had a different distribution between diabetic patients and healthy subjects, with the 482Ser allele more frequent in patients than in controls (40.1% vs 29.3%, P < 0.01). Even in controls, the 482Ser (A) carriers were more likely to have higher levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol than the 482Gly (G) carriers. The 394A-482G-528A haplotype was associated with protection from diabetes, while the 394A-482A-528A was associated with the susceptibility to diabetes. The bacterial two-hybrid system and site-directed mutagenesis revealed that the 482Ser variant was less efficient than the 482Gly variant to interact with MEF2C, whereas the 394Thr (A) had a synergic effect on the interaction between 482Ser variant and MEF2C.


The results suggested that the 482Ser variant of PGC-1alpha conferred the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes in the southern Chinese population. The underlying mechanism may be attributable, at least in part, to the altered interaction between the different variants (Gly482Ser, Thr394Thr) in the PGC-1alpha gene and MEF2C.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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