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Preview: Diabetes Genetics/Genomes/Proteomics/Metabolomics

Diabetes Genetics/Genomes/Proteomics/Metabolomics

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Circulating miRNA Profiles Associated With Hyperglycemia in Patients With Type 1 Diabetes


We investigated plasma microRNA (miRNA) profiles associated with variation of hyperglycemia, measured as hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), in two panels of patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Using the HTG Molecular Diagnostics EdgeSeq platform, 2,083 miRNAs were measured in plasma from 71 patients included in a screening panel. Quantitative real-time PCR was used to measure the candidate miRNAs in plasma from 95 patients included in an independent replication panel. We found 10 miRNAs replicated in both panels and 4 with high statistical significance. The strongest positive correlations with HbA1c were found with miR-125b-5p (rs = 0.40, P = 6.0 x 10–5) and miR-365a-3p (rs = 0.35, P = 5.9 x 10–4). The strongest negative correlations were found with miR-5190 (rs = –0.30, P = 0.003) and miR-770-5p (rs = –0.27, P = 0.008). Pathway analysis revealed that 50 Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes pathways were significantly enriched by genes targeted by these four miRNAs. The axon guidance signaling pathway was enriched (P < 1 x 10–7) by genes targeted by all four miRNAs. In addition, three other pathways (Rap1 signaling, focal adhesion, and neurotrophin signaling) were also significantly enriched but with genes targeted by only by three of the identified miRNAs. In conclusion, our study identified four circulating miRNAs that were influenced by variation in hyperglycemia. Dysregulation of these miRNAs, which are associated with hyperglycemia in patients with T1D, may contribute to the development of diabetes complications. However, there are multitudes of possible mechanisms/pathways through which dysregulation of these miRNAs may impact risk of diabetes complications.

Fetal Genotype and Maternal Glucose Have Independent and Additive Effects on Birth Weight


Maternal glycemia is a key determinant of birth weight, but recent large-scale genome-wide association studies demonstrated an important contribution of fetal genetics. It is not known whether fetal genotype modifies the impact of maternal glycemia or whether it acts through insulin-mediated growth. We tested the effects of maternal fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and a fetal genetic score for birth weight on birth weight and fetal insulin in 2,051 European mother-child pairs from the Exeter Family Study of Childhood Health (EFSOCH) and the Hyperglycemia and Adverse Pregnancy Outcome (HAPO) study. The fetal genetic score influenced birth weight independently of maternal FPG and impacted growth at all levels of maternal glycemia. For mothers with FPG in the top tertile, the frequency of large for gestational age (birth weight ≥90th centile) was 31.1% for offspring with the highest tertile genetic score and only 14.0% for those with the lowest tertile genetic score. Unlike maternal glucose, the fetal genetic score was not associated with cord insulin or C-peptide. Similar results were seen for HAPO participants of non-European ancestry (n = 2,842 pairs). This work demonstrates that for any level of maternal FPG, fetal genetics has a major impact on fetal growth and acts predominantly through independent mechanisms.

A Partial Loss-of-Function Variant in AKT2 Is Associated With Reduced Insulin-Mediated Glucose Uptake in Multiple Insulin-Sensitive Tissues: A Genotype-Based Callback Positron Emission Tomography Study


Rare fully penetrant mutations in AKT2 are an established cause of monogenic disorders of glucose metabolism. Recently, a novel partial loss-of-function AKT2 coding variant (p.Pro50Thr) was identified that is nearly specific to Finns (frequency 1.1%), with the low-frequency allele associated with an increase in fasting plasma insulin level and risk of type 2 diabetes. The effects of the p.Pro50Thr AKT2 variant (p.P50T/AKT2) on insulin-stimulated glucose uptake (GU) in the whole body and in different tissues have not previously been investigated. We identified carriers (N = 20) and matched noncarriers (N = 25) for this allele in the population-based Metabolic Syndrome in Men (METSIM)study and invited these individuals back for positron emission tomography study with [18F]-fluorodeoxyglucose during euglycemic hyperinsulinemia. When we compared p.P50T/AKT2 carriers to noncarriers, we found a 39.4% reduction in whole-body GU (P = 0.006) and a 55.6% increase in the rate of endogenous glucose production (P = 0.038). We found significant reductions in GU in multiple tissues—skeletal muscle (36.4%), liver (16.1%), brown adipose (29.7%), and bone marrow (32.9%)—and increases of 16.8–19.1% in seven tested brain regions. These data demonstrate that the p.P50T substitution of AKT2 influences insulin-mediated GU in multiple insulin-sensitive tissues and may explain, at least in part, the increased risk of type 2 diabetes in p.P50T/AKT2 carriers.