OBJECTIVE: To investigate the possible association of the variants in the nucleotide binding fold regions of the sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) gene with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM), type 2 diabetes, and altered insulin secretion in Finnish subjects. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: The nucleotide binding fold regions of the SUR1 gene were amplified with polymerase chain reaction and screened by the single-strand conformational polymorphism analysis in 42 subjects with GDM and 40 subjects with type 2 diabetes. Detected variants were further investigated in 377 normoglycemic subjects by restriction fragment-length polymorphism analysis. The effect of the variants of the SUR1 gene on first-phase insulin secretion was studied in 295 normoglycemic subjects. RESULTS: In subjects with GDM or type 2 diabetes, one amino acid change (S1369A), four silent substitutions (R1273R, L829L, T759T, and K649K), and three intron variants were identified in the nucleotide binding fold regions of the SUR1 gene. A tagGCC allele of exon 16 splice acceptor site was more frequent in subjects with GDM (0.55 allele frequency, n = 42) and type 2 diabetes (0.60, n = 40) than in normoglycemic subjects (0.43, n = 377) (P1 = 0.024 and P2 = 0.009, respectively). Similarly, an AGG allele of the R1273R polymorphism was more common in subjects with GDM (0.87) and type 2 diabetes (0.87) than in normoglycemic subjects (0.74) (P1 = 0.009 and P2 = 0.001, respectively). However, the S1369A, R1273R, and cagGCC-->tagGCC variants of the SUR1 gene were not associated with altered first-phase insulin secretion in 295 normoglycemic subjects. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that a functional variant that contributes to the risk of GDM and type 2 diabetes may locate close to the SUR1 gene.

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