We recently completed a genome wide association study for type 2 diabetes (T2D) in 7659 American Indians who are predominantly of Pima Indian heritage using a custom designed Axiom array. A novel intronic variant (hg19 chr10:72276664 G>C) in PALD1 was identified that associated with T2D (risk allele frequency (RAF)=0.01, OR=2.19[1.49-3.22] per risk allele [C], P=6.6×10-5 adjusted for age, sex, birthyear, PCs 1-5 and accounting for genetic relatedness). Further analysis in a dataset of Urban American Indians (N=3029) representing several tribal groups living in the Phoenix area, identified a directionally consistent association (OR=2.32, P=0.12), but this variant was rare among the entire Urban American Indian sample (RAF=0.003). A meta-analysis of both datasets resulted in a summary OR of 2.15[1.49-3.13], P=4.9×10-5. In Pima Indians, this variant is highly concordant (r2=0.92) with a novel missense variant (hg19 chr10:72298980 C>T, p.[P568S]) in PALD1. The missense variant also had a significant association with T2D in Pima Indians (RAF=0.02, OR=1.80[1.25-2.60], P=0.002) and in Urban American Indians (RAF=0.008, OR=2.29[1.03-5.12], P=0.04). However, after conditional analysis, only the intronic variant remains significant in the Pima Indian dataset. PALD1 is a predicted phosphatase and acts as a negative regulator of insulin signaling. Overexpression of PALD1 leads to lower insulin stimulated AKT phosphorylation and insulin receptor abundance. For preliminary functional studies, a short fragment (100bp) containing each allele of the PALD1 intronic variant (C or G) was cloned upstream of a SV40 promoter luciferase vector and transfected into C2C12 myoblasts. The T2D risk allele (C) fragment had significantly (P=0.004) higher SV40 promoter mediated luciferase activity as compared to the non-risk (G) allele. This result is consistent with the possible role of PALD1 in T2D pathogenesis. Further mechanistic studies are currently ongoing.


A.K. Nair: None. J.R. Sutherland: None. G.R. Elson: None. P. Piaggi: None. S. Kobes: None. R.L. Hanson: None. C. Bogardus: None. L. Baier: None.

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