Glucagon-like peptide-1 is a fragment of proglucagon secreted by intestinal L-cells. It has potent glucose-dependent insulin secretory effects and also suppresses gastric acid secretion in the stomach. The biological actions of GLP-1 are mediated by the GLP-1 receptor, the structure of which has recently been determined. Defects in insulin secretion are a common feature of NIDDM and as such the GLP-1 receptor is a candidate for contributing to the development of this clinically and genetically heterogeneous disorder. As a first step in determining the role of the GLP-1 receptor in the development of NIDDM, we have isolated the human GLP-1 receptor gene and mapped it to chromosome 6, band p21.1, using the technique of fluorescence in situ hybridization. We also identified a simple tandem repeat DNA polymorphism in the human GLP-1 receptor gene of the form (TG)n. This DNA polymorphism has 14 alleles and a heterozygosity of >0.8. We have used this DNA polymorphism to localize the GLP-1 receptor gene within the genetic map of the short arm of chromosome 6. This DNA polymorphism will facilitate genetic studies of the contribution of the GLP-1 receptor gene to impaired β-cell function and NIDDM.

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