Insulin resistance characterizes type 1 diabetes in patients with albuminuria. A PC-1 glycoprotein amino acid variant, K121Q, is associated with insulin resistance. We examined the impact of the PC-1 K121Q variant on the rate of decline of the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) by creatinine clearance derived from the Cockroft-Gault formula in 77 type 1 diabetic patients with albuminuria who were followed for an average of 6.5 years (range 2.5-15). Patients carrying the Q allele (n = 22; 20 with KQ and 2 with QQ genotypes) had a faster GFR decline than those patients with the KK genotype (n = 55) (median 7.2 vs. 3.7 ml x min(-1) x year(-1); range 0.16 to 16.6 vs. -3.8 to 16.0 ml x min(-1) x year(-1); P < 0.001). Significantly more patients carrying the Q allele belonged to the highest tertile of GFR decline (odds ratio = 5.7, 95% CI 4.1-7.2, P = 0.02). Levels of blood pressure, HbA1c, and albuminuria were comparable in the two genotype groups. Albuminuria (P = 0.001), mean blood pressure (P = 0.046), and PC-1 genotype (P = 0.036) independently correlated with GFR decline. Because all patients were receiving antihypertensive treatment, the faster GFR decline in the patients carrying the Q allele could be the result of reduced sensitivity to the renoprotective effect of antihypertensive therapy. PC-1 genotyping identifies type 1 diabetic patients with a faster progression of diabetic nephropathy.