A 10-allele polymorphism was identified in rad (ras associated with diabetes), a gene that is overexpressed in non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) muscle. The polymorphism, designated RADI, consists of a variable number of trinucleotide repeats (GTT and ATT) located in the poly(A) region of an intronic Alu sequence. Based on the number of GTT and ATT repetitions, the alleles can be grouped into four classes (I-TV). RADI allele frequencies were determined in 210 NIDDM patients and 133 nondiabetic control subjects, all Caucasians. One allele (number 8, class III) accounted for >80% of the chromosomes in both groups. However, an excess of minor alleles, all belonging to class I, II, or IV, was observed among NIDDM chromosomes (P < 0.025), suggesting a possible association between RADI and NIDDM predisposition. To promote further studies to test the hypothesis that genetic variability at the rad locus contributes to NIDDM, we mapped rad on the human genome. Using the fluorescence in situ chromosomal hybridization technique, rad was unequivocally assigned to chromosomal band 16q22. In families that were informative for RAD1, the rad locus was mapped within a 3-cM region defined by the markers D16S265, D16S186, and D16S397 (logarithm of odds scores = 10.08, 10.9, and 10.84 at recombination fractions of 0.024, 0.001, and 0.03, respectively). The high degree of heterozygosity of these markers will allow large-scale family studies to be performed to test the presence of linkage between rad and NIDDM.

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