A cis-eQTL in PFKFB2 is associated with diabetic nephropathy, adiposity and insulin secretion in American Indians.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Hum Mol Genet, Volume 24, Issue 10, p.2985-96 (2015)


Adipose Tissue, Adiposity, Adolescent, Adult, Aged, asb, Body Mass Index, Child, Child, Preschool, Diabetic Nephropathies, Female, Gene Expression, Genetic Association Studies, Genetic Predisposition to Disease, Humans, Indians, North American, Insulin, Kidney, Male, Middle Aged, Phosphofructokinase-2, Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide, Quantitative Trait Loci, Young Adult


A prior genome-wide association study (GWAS) in Pima Indians identified a variant within PFKFB2 (rs17258746) associated with body mass index (BMI). PFKFB2 encodes 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose 2,6-bisphosphatase isoform 2, which plays a role in glucose metabolism. To follow-up on the GWAS, tag SNPs across PFKFB2 were genotyped in American Indians (AI) who had longitudinal data on BMI (n = 6839), type 2 diabetes (T2D; n = 7710), diabetic nephropathy (DN; n = 2452), % body fat (n = 555) and insulin secretion (n = 298). Two SNPs were further genotyped in urban AI to assess replication for DN (n = 864). PFKFB2 expression was measured in 201 adipose biopsies using real-time RT-PCR and 61 kidney biopsies using the Affymetrix U133 array. Two SNPs (rs17258746 and rs11120137), which capture the same signal, were associated with maximum BMI in adulthood (β = 1.02 per risk allele, P = 7.3 × 10(-4)), maximum BMI z-score in childhood (β = 0.079, P = 0.03) and % body fat in adulthood (β = 3.4%, P = 3 × 10(-7)). The adiposity-increasing allele correlated with lower PFKFB2 adipose expression (β = 0.81, P = 9.4 × 10(-4)). Lower expression of PFKFB2 further correlated with higher % body fat (r = -0.16, P = 0.02) and BMI (r = -0.17, P = 0.02). This allele was also associated with increased risk for DN in both cohorts of AI [odds ratio = 1.64 (1.32-2.02), P = 5.8 × 10(-6)], and similarly correlated with lower PFKFB2 expression in kidney glomeruli (β = 0.87, P = 0.03). The same allele was also associated with lower insulin secretion assessed by acute insulin response (β = 0.78, P = 0.03) and 30-min plasma insulin concentrations (β = 0.78, P = 1.1 × 10(-4)). Variation in PFKFB2 appears to reduce PFKFB2 expression in adipose and kidney tissues, and thereby increase risk for adiposity and DN.