A polymorphism (K121Q) of the human glycoprotein PC-1 gene coding region is strongly associated with insulin resistance.

  1. A Pizzuti,
  2. L Frittitta,
  3. A Argiolas,
  4. R Baratta,
  5. I D Goldfine,
  6. M Bozzali,
  7. T Ercolino,
  8. G Scarlato,
  9. L Iacoviello,
  10. R Vigneri,
  11. V Tassi and
  12. V Trischitta
  1. Divisione e Unità di Ricerca di Endocrinologia, Istituto Scientifico Ospedale Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza, San Giovanni Rotondo (FG), Italy.


    The genes responsible for insulin resistance are poorly defined. Plasma cell differentiation antigen (PC-1) glycoprotein inhibits insulin receptor signaling and is associated with insulin resistance. We describe here a novel polymorphism in exon 4 of the PC-1 gene (K121Q) and demonstrate that it is strongly associated with insulin resistance in 121 healthy nonobese (BMI <30 kg/m2) nondiabetic (by oral glucose tolerance test [OGTT]) Caucasians from Sicily. Compared with 80 KK subjects, Q allele carriers (n = 41, 39 KQ and 2 QQ) showed higher glucose and insulin levels during OGTT (P < 0.001 by two-way analysis of variance) and insulin resistance by euglycemic clamp (M value = 5.25 +/- 1.38 [n = 24] vs. 6.30 +/- 1.39 mg x kg(-1) x min(-1) [n = 49], P = 0.005). Q carriers had higher risk of being hyperinsulinemic and insulin resistant (odds ratio [CI]: 2.99 [1.28-7.0], P < 0.001). Insulin receptor autophosphorylation was reduced (P < 0.01) in cultured skin fibroblasts from KQ versus KK subjects. Skeletal muscle PC-1 content was not different in 11 KQ versus 32 KK subjects (33 +/- 16.1 vs. 17.5 +/- 15 ng/mg protein, P = 0.3). These results suggest a cause-effect relationship between the Q carrying genotype and the insulin resistance phenotype, and raise the possibility that PC-1 genotyping could identify individuals who are at risk of developing insulin resistance, a condition that predisposes to type 2 diabetes and coronary artery disease.

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