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18-01-2012 | Diabetes | Article

Insulin-like binding protein 2 gene variants increase diabetes risk in Lebanese


Free abstract

MedWire News: Two susceptibility variants in the insulin-like binding protein 2 (IGF2BP2) gene are associated with Type 2 diabetes in Lebanese individuals, report researchers.

"Given that lifestyle changes can modify the risk for Type 2 diabetes, the likely contribution of these variants on various quantitative traits needs to be addressed," say Wassim Almawi (Arabian Gulf University, Manama, Bahrain) and colleagues.

IGF2BP2 has previously been confirmed as a Type 2 diabetes susceptibility gene by several studies in European and nonEuropean populations. In the current study, the authors explored the association of two of the most extensively studied IGF2BP2 risk variants (rs4402960 and rs1470579) in 544 Lebanese Type 2 diabetes patients and 606 normoglycemic Lebanese individuals with no personal or family history of diabetes.

As reported in the journal Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, genotyping performed with the allelic discrimination method revealed that the T allele of rs440960 and the C allele of rs1470579 were significantly associated with Type 2 diabetes at odds ratios (ORs) of 1.60 and 1.36, respectively, and both variants were in strong linkage disequilibrium.

Both of the SNPs showed a significant association with Type 2 diabetes under additive and recessive models, with increments of 22% and 32% in disease risk, respectively. However, only rs4402960 remained significant under the dominant model after adjustment for covariates.

Multivariate analysis confirmed that, compared with the common rs4402960/rs1470579 GA haplotype, the TC and TA haplotypes were positively associated with increased Type 2 diabetes risk, at ORs of 1.43 and 5.59, respectively. These associations remained significant after Bonferroni correction.

The authors say that for rs4402960, the association with diabetes risk was stronger than that found in some genome-wide studies in Danish, French, Austrian, and Chinese populations and the association is undetected altogether in other studies of French, Israeli, Moroccan, and Pima Indian populations.

"The absence of a significant association of rs4402960 in these studies does not appear to be due to the lack of power, given the number of cases and controls included, and thus is likely attributed to differences in ethnic/racial backgrounds," note Almawi and team.

The authors say both the rs4402960 and rs1470579 variants in IGF2BP2 represent common susceptibility genes in Lebanese Arab, Caucasian, and nonCaucasian populations.

"Further studies are required to elucidate the association of other IGF2BP2 variants with the risk for diabetes, as well as the biological significance of these gene polymorphisms," they conclude.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2012

By Sally Robertson