Diabetes in Population Isolates: Lessons from Greenland.
ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is an increasing health problem worldwide with particularly high occurrence in specific subpopulations and ancestry groups. The high prevalence of T2D is caused both by changes in lifestyle and genetic predisposition. A large number of studies have sought to identify the genetic determinants of T2D in large, open populations such as Europeans and Asians. However, studies of T2D in population isolates are gaining attention as they provide several advantages over open populations in genetic disease studies, including increased linkage disequilibrium, homogeneous environmental exposure, and increased allele frequency. We recently performed a study in the small, historically isolated Greenlandic population, in which the prevalence of T2D has increased to more than 10%. In this study, we identified a common nonsense variant in TBC1D4, which has a population-wide impact on glucose-stimulated plasma glucose, serum insulin levels, and T2D. The variant defines a specific subtype of non-autoimmune diabetes characterized by decreased post-prandial glucose uptake and muscular insulin resistance. These and other recent findings in population isolates illustrate the value of performing medical genetic studies in genetically isolated populations. In this review, we describe some of the advantages of performing genetic studies of T2D and related cardio-metabolic traits in a population isolate like the Greenlandic, and we discuss potentials and perspectives for future research into T2D in this population.
Project description:Genetic studies in large outbred populations have documented a complex, highly polygenic basis for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Most of the variants currently known to be associated with T2D risk have been identified in large studies that included tens of thousands of individuals who are representative of a single major ethnic group such as European, Asian, or African. However, most of these variants have only modest effects on the risk for T2D; identification of definitive 'causal variant' or 'causative loci' is typically lacking. Studies in isolated populations offer several advantages over outbred populations despite being, on average, much smaller in sample size. For example, reduced genetic variability, enrichment of rare variants, and a more uniform environment and lifestyle, which are hallmarks of isolated populations, can reduce the complexity of identifying disease-associated genes. To date, studies in isolated populations have provided valuable insight into the genetic basis of T2D by providing both a deeper understanding of previously identified T2D-associated variants (e.g. demonstrating that variants in KCNQ1 have a strong parent-of-origin effect) or providing novel variants (e.g. ABCC8 in Pima Indians, TBC1D4 in the Greenlandic population, HNF1A in Canadian Oji-Cree). This review summarizes advancements in genetic studies of T2D in outbred and isolated populations, and provides information on whether the difference in the prevalence of T2D in different populations (Pima Indians vs. non-Hispanic Whites and non-Hispanic Whites vs. non-Hispanic Blacks) can be explained by the difference in risk allele frequencies of established T2D variants.
Project description:We previously showed that a common genetic variant leads to a remarkably increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D) in the small and historically isolated Greenlandic population. Motivated by this, we aimed at discovering novel genetic determinants for glycated hemoglobin (HbA1C) and at estimating the effect of known HbA1C-associated loci in the Greenlandic population. We analyzed genotype data from 4049 Greenlanders generated using the Illumina Cardio-Metabochip. We performed the discovery association analysis by an additive linear mixed model. To estimate the effect of known HbA1C-associated loci, we modeled the effect in the European and Inuit ancestry proportions of the Greenlandic genome (EAPGG and IAPGG, respectively). After correcting for multiple testing, we found no novel significant associations. When we investigated loci known to associate with HbA1C levels, we found that the lead variant in the GCK locus associated significantly with HbA1C levels in the IAPGG ([Formula: see text]). Furthermore, for 10 of 15 known HbA1C loci, the effects in IAPGG were similar to the previously reported effects. Interestingly, the ANK1 locus showed a statistically significant ancestral population differential effect, with opposing directions of effect in the two ancestral populations. In conclusion, we found only 1 of the 15 known HbA1C loci to be significantly associated with HbA1C levels in the IAPGG and that two-thirds of the loci showed similar effects in Inuit as previously found in European and East Asian populations. Our results shed light on the genetic effects across ethnicities.
Project description:Insulin-stimulated muscle glucose uptake is a key process to alleviate hyperglycemia. This process depends on the redistribution of glucose transporters to the muscle surface membrane following phosphorylation of TBC1D1 and TBC1D4. Genetic evidence from a TBC1D4 loss-of-function mutation in human skeletal muscle is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes (T2D). However, little is known about the potential regulating interactors of TBC1D4 in skeletal muscle. Here, we sought to identify interactors of TBC1D4 in human skeletal muscle by an unbiased proteomics approach. We detected 76 proteins as candidate TBC1D4 interactors, whereof 12 were regulated by insulin stimulation including known proteins involved in glucose metabolism (e.g. 14-3-3 proteins and ACTN4). TBC1D1 also co-precipitated with TBC1D4 and vice versa in both human and mouse skeletal muscle. This interaction was not regulated by insulin or exercise in young healthy lean individuals. In contrast, we observed an altered interaction as well as compromised insulin-stimulated phospho-regulation of the TBC1D1-TBC1D4 complex in muscle of obese individuals with T2D. In conclusion, we provide a list of TBC1D4 interactors in human and mouse skeletal muscle. These protein interactors serve as potential regulators of TBC1D4 function and thus insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in skeletal muscle.
Project description:The peopling of Greenland has a complex history shaped by population migrations, isolation and genetic drift. The Greenlanders present a genetic heritage with components of European and Inuit groups; previous studies using uniparentally inherited markers in Greenlanders have reported evidence of a sex-biased, admixed genetic background. This work further explores the genetics of the Greenlanders by analysing autosomal and X-chromosomal data to obtain deeper insights into the factors that shaped the genetic diversity in Greenlanders. Fourteen Greenlandic subsamples from multiple geographical settlements were compared to assess the level of genetic substructure in the Greenlandic population. The results showed low levels of genetic diversity in all sets of the genetic markers studied, together with an increased number of X-chromosomal loci in linkage disequilibrium in relation to the Danish population. In the broader context of worldwide populations, Greenlanders are remarkably different from most populations, but they are genetically closer to some Inuit groups from Alaska. Admixture analyses identified an Inuit component in the Greenlandic population of approximately 80%. The sub-populations of Ammassalik and Nanortalik are the least diverse, presenting the lowest levels of European admixture. Isolation-by-distance analyses showed that only 16% of the genetic substructure of Greenlanders is most likely to be explained by geographic barriers. We suggest that genetic drift and a differentiated settlement history around the island explain most of the genetic substructure of the population in Greenland.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:In a recent study using a standard additive genetic model, we identified a TBC1D4 loss-of-function variant with a large recessive impact on risk of type 2 diabetes in Greenlanders. The aim of the current study was to identify additional genetic variation underlying type 2 diabetes using a recessive genetic model, thereby increasing the power to detect variants with recessive effects. METHODS:We investigated three cohorts of Greenlanders (B99, n = 1401; IHIT, n = 3115; and BBH, n = 547), which were genotyped using Illumina MetaboChip. Of the 4674 genotyped individuals passing quality control, 4648 had phenotype data available, and type 2 diabetes association analyses were performed for 317 individuals with type 2 diabetes and 2631 participants with normal glucose tolerance. Statistical association analyses were performed using a linear mixed model. RESULTS:Using a recessive genetic model, we identified two novel loci associated with type 2 diabetes in Greenlanders, namely rs870992 in ITGA1 on chromosome 5 (OR 2.79, p = 1.8 × 10-8), and rs16993330 upstream of LARGE1 on chromosome 22 (OR 3.52, p = 1.3 × 10-7). The LARGE1 variant did not reach the conventional threshold for genome-wide significance (p < 5 × 10-8) but did withstand a study-wide Bonferroni-corrected significance threshold. Both variants were common in Greenlanders, with minor allele frequencies of 23% and 16%, respectively, and were estimated to have large recessive effects on risk of type 2 diabetes in Greenlanders, compared with additively inherited variants previously observed in European populations. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:We demonstrate the value of using a recessive genetic model in a historically small and isolated population to identify genetic risk variants. Our findings give new insights into the genetic architecture of type 2 diabetes, and further support the existence of high-effect genetic risk factors of potential clinical relevance, particularly in isolated populations. DATA AVAILABILITY:The Greenlandic MetaboChip-genotype data are available at European Genome-Phenome Archive (EGA; https://ega-archive.org/ ) under the accession EGAS00001002641.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes (T2D) affects 415 million people worldwide, and has a much higher prevalence in Hispanics (16.9%), compared to non-Hispanic whites (10.2%). Genome-wide association studies and whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing studies have discovered more than 100 genetic regions associated with modified risk for T2D. However, the identified genetic factors explain a very small fraction of the estimated heritability. Until recently, little attention has been put in studying other non European populations that suffer from a higher burden of T2D, such as Hispanics/Latinos. In the past few years, genetic studies in Hispanic populations have started to provide new insights into the genetic architecture of T2D in this ancestry group. Of note, several genetic variants that are absent or very rare in non-Hispanic populations but more common in Hispanics have shown from moderate to strong association with T2D and have provided new insights into the biology of T2D, which may be ultimately useful for developing novel therapeutic strategies applicable to all populations. Studying diverse populations can also improve the ability to find the causal variants in known T2D loci by a multi-ancestry fine-mapping approach, which leverages the different patterns of linkage disequilibrium between the causal and the ascertained genetic variants. In this mini-review, we summarize the main genetic findings discovered in Hispanics and discuss the limitations and challenges of performing genetic studies in these populations. Finally, we present possible next steps to make studies in Latino populations more valuable in providing a deeper understanding of T2D and anticipate their future application to the development of predictive and preventive medicine and personalized therapies.
Project description:We conducted a three-stage genetic study to identify susceptibility loci for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in east Asian populations. We followed our stage 1 meta-analysis of eight T2D genome-wide association studies (6,952 cases with T2D and 11,865 controls) with a stage 2 in silico replication analysis (5,843 cases and 4,574 controls) and a stage 3 de novo replication analysis (12,284 cases and 13,172 controls). The combined analysis identified eight new T2D loci reaching genome-wide significance, which mapped in or near GLIS3, PEPD, FITM2-R3HDML-HNF4A, KCNK16, MAEA, GCC1-PAX4, PSMD6 and ZFAND3. GLIS3, which is involved in pancreatic beta cell development and insulin gene expression, is known for its association with fasting glucose levels. The evidence of an association with T2D for PEPD and HNF4A has been shown in previous studies. KCNK16 may regulate glucose-dependent insulin secretion in the pancreas. These findings, derived from an east Asian population, provide new perspectives on the etiology of T2D.
Project description:Tre-2, BUB2, CDC16, 1 domain family member 4 (TBC1D4) (AS160) is a Rab-GTPase activating protein implicated in insulin-stimulated glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4) translocation in adipocytes and myotubes. To determine whether loss-of-function mutations in TBC1D4 might impair GLUT4 translocation and cause insulin resistance in humans, we screened the coding regions of this gene in 156 severely insulin-resistant patients. A female presenting at age 11 years with acanthosis nigricans and extreme postprandial hyperinsulinemia was heterozygous for a premature stop mutation (R363X) in TBC1D4. After demonstrating reduced expression of wild-type TBC1D4 protein and expression of the truncated protein in lymphocytes from the proband, we further characterized the biological effects of the truncated protein in 3T3L1 adipocytes. Prematurely truncated TBC1D4 protein tended to increase basal cell membrane GLUT4 levels (P = 0.053) and significantly reduced insulin-stimulated GLUT4 cell membrane translocation (P < 0.05). When coexpressed with wild-type TBC1D4, the truncated protein dimerized with full-length TBC1D4, suggesting that the heterozygous truncated variant might interfere with its wild-type counterpart in a dominant negative fashion. Two overweight family members with the mutation also manifested normal fasting glucose and insulin levels but disproportionately elevated insulin levels following an oral glucose challenge. This family provides unique genetic evidence of TBC1D4 involvement in human insulin action.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a syndrome of multiple metabolic disorders and is genetically heterogeneous. India comprises one of the largest global populations with highest number of reported type 2 diabetes cases. However, limited information about T2D associated loci is available for Indian populations. It is, therefore, pertinent to evaluate the previously associated candidates as well as identify novel genetic variations in Indian populations to understand the extent of genetic heterogeneity. We chose to do a cost effective high-throughput mass-array genotyping and studied the candidate gene variations associated with T2D in literature. In this case-control candidate genes association study, 91 SNPs from 55 candidate genes have been analyzed in three geographically independent population groups from India. We report the genetic variants in five candidate genes: TCF7L2, HHEX, ENPP1, IDE and FTO, are significantly associated (after Bonferroni correction, p<5.5E-04) with T2D susceptibility in combined population. Interestingly, SNP rs7903146 of the TCF7L2 gene passed the genome wide significance threshold (combined P value?=?2.05E-08) in the studied populations. We also observed the association of rs7903146 with blood glucose (fasting and postprandial) levels, supporting the role of TCF7L2 gene in blood glucose homeostasis. Further, we noted that the moderate risk provided by the independently associated loci in combined population with Odds Ratio (OR)<1.38 increased to OR?=?2.44, (95%CI?=?1.67-3.59) when the risk providing genotypes of TCF7L2, HHEX, ENPP1 and FTO genes were combined, suggesting the importance of gene-gene interactions evaluation in complex disorders like T2D.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has been the subject of numerous genetic studies in recent years which revealed associations of the disease with a large number of susceptibility loci. We hereby initiate the evaluation of T2D susceptibility loci in the Greek-Cypriot population by performing a replication case-control study. One thousand and eighteen individuals (528 T2D patients, 490 controls) were genotyped at 21 T2D susceptibility loci, using the allelic discrimination method. Statistically significant associations of T2D with five of the tested single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (TCF7L2 rs7901695, FTO rs8050136, HHEX rs5015480, SLC30A8 rs13266634 and IGF2BP2 rs4402960) were observed in this study population. Furthermore, 14 of the tested SNPs had odds ratios (ORs) in the same direction as the previously published studies, suggesting that these variants can potentially be used in the Greek-Cypriot population for predictive testing of T2D. In conclusion, our findings expand the genetic assessment of T2D susceptibility loci and reconfirm five of the worldwide established loci in a distinct, relatively small, newly investigated population.