Rare variants identified in the HNF- 4 alpha beta-cell-specific promoter and alternative exon 1 lack biological significance in maturity onset diabetes of the young and young onset Type II diabetes.
Mitchell SMS., Vaxillaire M., Thomas H., Parrizas M., Benmezroua Y., Costa A., Hansen T., Owen KR., Tuomi T., Pirie F., Ryffel GU., Ferrer J., Froguel P., Hattersley AT., Frayling TM.
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: The recently identified alternative promoter (P2) of HNF-4 alpha is the major HNF-4 alpha transcription start site in pancreatic beta cells. The significance of the P2 promoter was shown by the identification of a mutation in the IPF-1 binding site of the alternative promoter which cosegregated with diabetes in a large MODY family. The role of the P2 promoter and the associated alternative exon 1 in both MODY and polygenic Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus is not known. Linkage to this region in studies of Type II diabetes makes the P2 region a strong candidate for a role in Type II diabetes susceptibility. METHODS: To assess the role of the P2 region we screened MODY, young-onset Type II diabetic subjects, and probands from Type II diabetes families linked to chromosome 20 for variants of the P2 promoter and associated exon of HNF-4 alpha. RESULTS: Two variants were found that were not present in the control subjects. The -79 C/T substitution was present in a MODY family but did not perfectly cosegregate with diabetes. A -276 G/T substitution was identified in two UK young-onset diabetes probands but did not co-segregate with diabetes. Reporter gene studies did not indicate changes in transcriptional activity caused by either the -79 C/T or -276 G/T single nucleotide substitutions. CONCLUSION/INTERPRETATION: We found no evidence to suggest that variation in the P2 proximal promoter region and associated alternative exon 1 of HNF-4 alpha contribute to young onset Type II diabetes susceptibility in Northern Europeans.