A Genome-Wide Association Study in American Indians Implicates DNER as a Susceptibility Locus for Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Leslie J. Baier
  1. Phoenix Epidemiology and Clinical Research Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Phoenix, AZ
  1. Corresponding author: Robert L. Hanson, rhanson{at}phx.niddk.nih.gov.


Most genetic variants associated with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) have been identified through genome-wide association studies (GWASs) in Europeans. The current study reports a GWAS for young-onset T2DM in American Indians. Participants were selected from a longitudinal study conducted in Pima Indians and included 278 cases with diabetes with onset before 25 years of age, 295 nondiabetic controls ≥45 years of age, and 267 siblings of cases or controls. Individuals were genotyped on a ∼1M single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array, resulting in 453,654 SNPs with minor allele frequency >0.05. SNPs were analyzed for association in cases and controls, and a family-based association test was conducted. Tag SNPs (n = 311) were selected for 499 SNPs associated with diabetes (P < 0.0005 in case-control analyses or P < 0.0003 in family-based analyses), and these SNPs were genotyped in up to 6,834 additional Pima Indians to assess replication. Rs1861612 in DNER was associated with T2DM (odds ratio = 1.29 per copy of the T allele; P = 6.6 × 10−8, which represents genome-wide significance accounting for the number of effectively independent SNPs analyzed). Transfection studies in murine pancreatic β-cells suggested that DNER regulates expression of notch signaling pathway genes. These studies implicate DNER as a susceptibility gene for T2DM in American Indians.


  • Received March 13, 2013.
  • Accepted September 29, 2013.

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