Interactions Between Zinc Transporter-8 Gene (SLC30A8) and Plasma Zinc Concentrations for Impaired Glucose Regulation and Type 2 Diabetes

  1. Liegang Liu1,2
  1. 1Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Hubei Key Laboratory of Food Nutrition and Safety, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China
  2. 2MOE Key Laboratory of Environment and Health, School of Public Health, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China
  3. 3Department of Nutrition and Food Hygiene, Public Health College, Harbin Medical University, Harbin, China
  4. 4Department of Nutrition and Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA
  1. Corresponding author: Liegang Liu, lgliu{at}, or Frank B. Hu,{at}
  1. Z.S. and W.B. contributed equally to this study.


Although both SLC30A8 rs13266634 single nucleotide polymorphism and plasma zinc concentrations have been associated with impaired glucose regulation (IGR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D), their interactions for IGR and T2D remain unclear. Therefore, to assess zinc-SLC30A8 interactions, we performed a case-control study in 1,796 participants: 218 newly diagnosed IGR patients, 785 newly diagnosed T2D patients, and 793 individuals with normal glucose tolerance. After adjustment for age, sex, BMI, family history of diabetes, and hypertension, the multivariable odds ratio (OR) of T2D associated with a 10 µg/dL higher plasma zinc level was 0.87 (95% CI 0.85–0.90). Meanwhile, the OR of SLC30A8 rs13266634 homozygous genotypes CC compared with TT was 1.53 (1.11–2.09) for T2D. Similar associations were found in IGR and IGR&T2D groups. Each 10 µg/dL increment of plasma zinc was associated with 22% (OR 0.78 [0.72–0.85]) lower odds of T2D in TT genotype carriers, 17% (0.83 [0.80–0.87]) lower odds in CT genotype carriers, and 7% (0.93 [0.90–0.97]) lower odds in CC genotype carriers (P for interaction = 0.01). Our study suggested that the C allele of rs13266634 was associated with higher odds of T2D, and higher plasma zinc was associated with lower odds. The inverse association of plasma zinc concentrations with T2D was modified by SLC30A8 rs13266634. Further studies are warranted to confirm our findings and clarify the mechanisms underlying the interaction between plasma zinc and the SLC30A8 gene in relation to T2D.


  • Received April 18, 2013.
  • Accepted November 29, 2013.

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  1. Diabetes vol. 63 no. 5 1796-1803
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