, Volume 44, Issue 3, pp 373-376

A polymorphism in the 5' untranslated region and a Met229→ Leu variant in exon 5 of the human UCP1 gene are associated with susceptibility to Type II diabetes mellitus


Aims/hypothesis. The cumulative effects of several thrifty factors could contribute to the pathogenesis of Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus. We screened the human UCP1 gene (UCP1) for polymorphisms associated with susceptibility to Type II diabetes. Methods. By using PCR and single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis, UCP1 were screened for mutations in 25 Type II diabetic subjects and 25 healthy control subjects. The allele frequencies of the detected polymorphisms were determined by PCR and restriction fragment length polymorphism analysis in 320 diabetic subjects and 250 control subjects. Results. An A→C transition in the 5' untranslated region (UTR) of exon 1 (112 bp upstream of the translation initiation codon) and a Met229→Leu variant were detected. The allele frequencies for the C variant and for the Leu229 variant were higher in the Type II diabetic group than in the control group (p = 0.017 and p = 0.038, respectively). These polymorphisms were in linkage disequilibrium (p < 0.00001). Luciferase assay showed that the former variant in the 5' UTR may affect the promoter activity of UCP1. Conclusion/interpretation. Both the A→C polymorphism and the Met229→Leu polymorphism of UCP1 are in linkage disequilibrium and could be one of the diabetes associated single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). [Diabetologia (2001) 44: 373–376]

Received: 24 August 2000 and in revised form: 17 November 2000