A gene is considered a candidate gene for type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians if 1) it has a known physiological function in a pathway relevant to type 2 diabetes/obesity or 2) it is associated with diabetes/obesity in another human population or in an animal model. In the past year we have directly sequenced and genotyped all detected variants in more than 20 physiologic candidate genes for associations with BMI or diabetes. Genotyping was performed in two large population based samples of individuals collected from the Gila River Indian Community. A type 2 diabetes gene (KCNQ1) identified in a Chinese population appears to have a significant role in determining type 2 diabetes, obesity, and early insulin secretion response in Pima Indians. These variants exhibit parent of origin effects, such that the variants have different effects on disease risk if they were inherited maternally or paternally. Another gene, Sirt1, has previously been implicated in the pathogenesis of obesity and, to a lesser degree, type 2 diabetes. Our study in Pima Indians identified DNA variants that were associated with increased risk for type 2 diabetes, where this risk was likely due to impairment of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. We also identified a significant gender interaction with type 2 diabetes, which has not been previously reported. In an expression analysis of adipose biopsies from Pima Indians, Sirt1 expression levels were strongly correlated with the donors BMI;however, DNA variants within the Sirt1 locus were not associated with BMI suggesting that variation in trans-acting factors, rather than cis-acting SNPs, were responsible differences in Sirt1 expression. We further determined the prevalence of functional MC4R coding variants among all individuals living on the Gila River Indian Community. The MC4R exon was sequenced in 6761 individuals and six different mutations, which we demonstrated to cause reduced function in vitro, were found in 159 individuals (2.4%). Three mutations have been reported in other ethnic groups and 3 may potentially be unique to Pima Indians. During childhood (age 5 to 20 years), the slope of BMI increase was greater in individuals carrying an MC4R mutation as was the BMI z-score MC4R deficiency was also associated with an increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes, independent from an increased BMI, during childhood.

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Muller, Yunhua L; Piaggi, Paolo; Chen, Peng et al. (2017) Assessing variation across 8 established East Asian loci for type 2 diabetes mellitus in American Indians: Suggestive evidence for new sex-specific diabetes signals in GLIS3 and ZFAND3. Diabetes Metab Res Rev 33:
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Nair, Anup K; Piaggi, Paolo; McLean, Nellie A et al. (2016) Assessment of established HDL-C loci for association with HDL-C levels and type 2 diabetes in Pima Indians. Diabetologia 59:481-91
Traurig, Michael; Hanson, Robert L; Marinelarena, Alejandra et al. (2016) Analysis of SLC16A11 Variants in 12,811 American Indians: Genotype-Obesity Interaction for Type 2 Diabetes and an Association With RNASEK Expression. Diabetes 65:510-9
Hohenadel, M G; Baier, L J; Piaggi, P et al. (2016) The impact of genetic variants on BMI increase during childhood versus adulthood. Int J Obes (Lond) 40:1301-9
Baier, Leslie J; Muller, Yunhua Li; Remedi, Maria Sara et al. (2015) ABCC8 R1420H loss-of-function variant in a Southwest American Indian community: association with increased birth weight and doubled risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes :
Muller, Yunhua L; Piaggi, Paolo; Hanson, Robert L et al. (2015) A cis-eQTL in PFKFB2 is associated with diabetic nephropathy, adiposity and insulin secretion in American Indians. Hum Mol Genet 24:2985-96
Nair, Anup K; Baier, Leslie J (2015) Complex Genetics of Type 2 Diabetes and Effect Size: What have We Learned from Isolated Populations? Rev Diabet Stud 12:299-319
Hanson, Robert L; Rong, Rong; Kobes, Sayuko et al. (2015) Role of Established Type 2 Diabetes-Susceptibility Genetic Variants in a High Prevalence American Indian Population. Diabetes 64:2646-57
Muller, Yunhua L; Hanson, Robert L; Wiessner, Gregory et al. (2015) Assessing FOXO1A as a potential susceptibility locus for type 2 diabetes and obesity in American Indians. Obesity (Silver Spring) 23:1960-5

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