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TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and fasting plasma glucose level

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:77000-77008. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.20300

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Li Zhu, Zhiqiang Xie, Jianping Lu, Qiu Hao, Mingqiang Kang, Shuchen Chen, Weifeng Tang, Hao Ding, Yu Chen, Chao Liu and Haojie Wu _

Abstract

Li Zhu1,*, Zhiqiang Xie2,*, Jianping Lu3, Qiu Hao4, Mingqiang Kang5, Shuchen Chen5, Weifeng Tang5, Hao Ding6, Yu Chen7, Chao Liu8 and Haojie Wu9

1Department of Nephrology, Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China

2Department of Clinical Laboratory, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China

3Department of Pathology, Fujian Cancer Hospital, Fujian Medical University Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China

4Department of Immunology, School of Medicine, Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China

5Department of Thoracic Surgery, Fujian Medical University Union Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China

6Department of Respiratory Disease, Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China

7Department of Medical Oncology, Fujian Provincial Cancer Hospital, Fujian Medical University Cancer Hospital, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China

8Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu Province, China

9Department of Endocrinology, Zhongshan Hospital Xiamen University, Xiamen, Fujian Province, China

*These authors have contributed equally to this work

Correspondence to:

Haojie Wu, email: haojiew2002@163.com

Keywords: TCF7L2, polymorphism, type 2 diabetes mellitus, risk

Received: April 19, 2017    Accepted: June 20, 2017    Published: August 16, 2017

ABSTRACT

Genetic polymorphisms of the transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene may be key agents in the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). In the present case-control study, we aimed to assess the possible relationship of TCF7L2 polymorphisms with T2DM and determine the effect of TCF7L2 polymorphisms on the level of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) in Eastern Chinese Han subjects. The TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms were genotyped by SNPscan genotyping assays in 502 subjects with T2DM and 782 non-diabetic controls. After adjusting for age, gender, drinking, smoking and body mass index (BMI), the association of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms with T2DM was determined. We found that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism increased the susceptibility of T2DM in the overall comparison. In subgroup analyses by age, sex, BMI, alcohol use and smoking status, a significantly increased risk of T2DM was also found in female, older subject and never drinking and BMI < 24 kg/m2 subgroups. The relationship of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism with the biochemistry characteristics in controls was also assessed. We found that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism significantly increased the level of FPG in controls. Our findings suggest that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism is associated with T2DM in Eastern Chinese Han population and links to variations in FPG level. In addition, these relationships are more pronounced in female, older subject and never drinking and BMI < 24 kg/m2 subgroups. A comprehensive fine-mapping study with functional investigation is needed to confirm or refute these potential correlations.


<i>TCF7L2</i> rs290481 T>C polymorphism is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus and fasting plasma glucose level | Zhu | Oncotarget

INTRODUCTION

Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), a chronic metabolic disease, is a common form of diabetes. Over the past decades, the incidence of T2DM in Chinese adult has increased dramatically and is about 11.6% [1]. T2DM is considered a serious public health threat. T2DM is primarily characterized by disturbance of energy metabolism, relative insulin deficiency and/or insulin resistance. Meanwhile, T2DM is a complex metabolic disorder resulting from multiple genetic components and environmental risk factors. The lipid metabolism and insulin signal transduction candidate genes may participate in the pathogenesis of T2DM. The variants of these candidate genes could change the expression of protein and also lead to abnormal signal transduction or metabolic disorder. Finally, these variants may influence the susceptibility of T2DM.

Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2), a tran-scription factor, is a member of the high mobility group-box (HMGB) family [2] and exerting a variety of functions. TCF7L2 expresses in pancreatic β-cells [3] and plays an important role in glucose homeostasis. In addition, it is reported that TCF7L2 leads to the activation of Wnt target genes, and then it promotes the proliferation of pancreatic β-cells and the production of the incretin hormone glucagon-like peptide-1 in enteroendocrine cells [4]. Grant et al. reported that TCF7L2 polymorphisms may be associated with the risk of T2DM in an Icelandic population [5]. From then on, variants of TCF7L2 are considered as important genetic components in assessing the risk for T2DM worldwide [3, 6-8].

The TCF7L2 gene lies in chromosome 10q25.2-q25.3. TCF7L2 gene is polymorphic, and a number of loci have been identified, such as the rs10749127, rs10787475, rs11196224, rs12775879, rs17130188, rs290481, rs290487, rs290489, rs3750804, rs4918792, rs6585194, rs7085532, rs7094463, rs7919409, and rs966227, rs7903146, rs11196205 and rs12255372 polymorphisms, etc. Among these single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), the TCF7L2 rs7903146 polymorphism are widely studied for the potential relationship with T2DM susceptibility. Recently, several case-control studies found that TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T is associated with the development of T2DM [9-12]. Then, a meta-analysis suggested that TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T variants might confer an increased risk to T2DM in Chinese Han population [13]. However, in that meta-analysis, the number of included studies was moderate. Then, the power of the study may be limited. Several recent reports focused on the relationship of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C with diabetes mellitus and the results were conflicting. Genetic variations of TCF7L2 genes, such as rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C, may contribute to the etiology of T2DM. Therefore, we designed a hospital-based case-control study with 502 T2DM cases and 782 healthy controls and selected TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms to explore the potential relationship of these SNPs with T2DM risk in an Eastern Chinese Han population.

RESULTS

Baseline characteristics

Basic clinical characteristics (e.g. anthropometric data, demographics and risk factors) and biochemical laboratory are summarized in Table 1. Locus information of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms is listed in Table 2. All genotyping success rate for these SNPs was more than 99%. Minor allele frequency (MAF) in Chinese database and our controls is shown in Table 2. In addition, the deviations from the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) in controls are listed in Table 2.

Table 1: Distribution of selected demographic variables and risk factors in T2DM cases and controls

Variable

Cases (n=502)

Controls (n=782)

Pa

n

%

n

%

Age (years)

65.20 (±9.51)

64.67 (±9.80)

0.347

Age (years)

0.113

 < 65

227

45.22

389

49.74

 ≥ 65

275

54.78

393

50.26

Sex

0.819

 Male

332

66.14

522

66.75

 Female

170

33.86

260

33.25

Smoking status

0.264

 Never

333

66.33

542

69.31

 Ever

169

33.67

240

30.69

Alcohol use

0.263

 Never

453

90.24

690

88.24

 Ever

49

9.76

92

11.76

BMI (kg/m2)

24.95 (±3.64)

23.51 (±2.94)

<0.001

BMI (kg/m2)

<0.001

 < 24

210

436

 ≥ 24

292

346

Systolic pressure (mmHg)

135.08 (±17.83)

134.02 (±17.71)

0.297

Diastolic pressure (mmHg)

79.79 (±10.35)

80.06 (±10.02)

0.649

FPG (mmol/L)

8.08 (±2.76)

5.13 (±0.49)

<0.001

Total cholesterol (mmol/L)

4.61 (±1.24)

4.88 (±1.02)

<0.001

Triglyceride (mmol/L)

1.74 (±1.14)

1.55 (±0.96)

0.001

HDL-C (mmol/L)

1.13 (±0.37)

1.30 (±0.37)

<0.001

LDL-C (mmol/L)

3.00 (±1.07)

3.14 (±0.82)

0.010

a Two-sided χ2 test and student t test; Bold values are statistically significant (P <0.05); BMI, body mass index; FPG, fasting plasma glucose; HDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol; LDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Table 2: Primary information for TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms

Genotyped SNPs

Chromosome

Chr Pos (NCBI Build 37)

Region

MAFa for Chinese in database

MAF in our controls (n = 782)

P value for HWEb test in our controls

Genotyping method

Genotyping value (%)

TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T

10

114758349

Intron 4

0.026

0.028

0.584

SNPscan

99.61

TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C

10

114923825

Intron 13

0.405

0.379

0.057

SNPscan

99.30

a MAF: minor allele frequency;

b HWE: Hardy–Weinberg equilibrium;

Association of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms with T2DM

The genotype distributions of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms are summarized in Table 3. Genotype distributions for these two SNPs were tested for HWE and no significant deviation was identified in controls (Table 2). In the analysis of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C SNP, differences in the distribution of the rs290481 TC genotype compared with the rs290481 TT genotype and rs290481 TC/CC genotype compared with the rs290481 TT genotype between 502 T2DM cases and 782 controls were found [TC vs. TT: crude odds ratio (OR) = 1.29, 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.01–1.65, P = 0.042 and TC/CC vs. TT: crude OR = 1.27, 95% CI = 1.01–1.61, P = 0.044 (Table 3)]. Results of multivariate linear regression analysis demonstrated that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism was correlated with the development of T2DM in two genetic models. When the TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype was used as the reference group, the rs290481 TC and TC/CC genotype were correlated with the increased risk of T2DM [TC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.03–1.69, P = 0.030 and TC/CC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.30, 95% CI = 1.02–1.64, P = 0.032 (Table 3)]. However, we found that TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T polymorphism was not associated with the development of T2DM (Table 3).

Table 3: Logistic regression analyses of association between TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms and risk of T2DM

Genotype

Cases (n=502)

Controls (n=782)

Crude OR (95%CI)

P

Adjusted ORa (95%CI)

P

n

%

n

%

TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T

CC

478

96.18

740

94.63

1.00

CT

19

3.82

41

5.24

0.71(0.41-1.24)

0.227

0.68(0.39-1.18)

0.170

TT

0

0

1

0.13

-

-

-

-

CT+TT

19

3.83

42

5.37

0.70(0.40-1.22)

0.208

0.67(0.38-1.17)

0.160

CC+CT

497

100.00

781

99.87

1.00

1.00

TT

0

0

1

0.13

-

-

-

-

T allele

19

1.91

43

2.75

TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C

TT

172

34.61

313

40.23

1.00

TC

246

49.50

341

43.83

1.29(1.01-1.65)

0.042

1.32(1.03-1.69)

0.030

CC

79

15.90

124

15.94

1.14(0.82-1.60)

0.443

1.15(0.82-1.62)

0.413

TC+CC

325

65.39

465

59.77

1.27(1.01-1.61)

0.044

1.30(1.02-1.64)

0.032

TT+TC

418

84.10

654

84.06

1.00

1.00

CC

79

15.90

124

15.94

1.00(0.73-1.36)

0.984

1.00(0.73-1.36)

0.979

C allele

404

40.64

589

37.85

a Adjusted for age, sex, BMI, alcohol use and smoking status.

Bold values are statistically significant (P <0.05)

Association of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism with T2DM in different stratification groups

Table 4 summarizes the genotype frequencies of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism in the subgroup analyses. In female subgroup, after adjustment for age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status and alcohol use by logistic regression analysis, the TCF7L2 rs290481 CC genotype were associated with an increased risk of T2DM compared with the TCF7L2 rs290481 TT and TC/TT genotypes [CC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 2.05, 95% CI 1.12–3.76, P = 0.020 and CC vs. TC/TT: adjusted OR = 1.83, 95% CI = 1.05–3.21, P = 0.034 (Table 4)]. In ≥65 years subgroup, after adjustment for gender, BMI, smoking status and alcohol use by logistic regression analysis, the TCF7L2 rs290481 TC/CC and TC genotypes increased the risk of T2DM compared with the TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype [TC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.42, 95% CI 1.01–2.01, P = 0.047 and TC/CC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.01–1.95, P = 0.042 (Table 4)]. In never drinking subgroup, after adjustment for gender, age, BMI and smoking status by logistic regression analysis, the TCF7L2 rs290481 TC/CC and TC genotypes increased T2DM risk compared with the TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype [TC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.33, 95% CI 1.02–1.74, P = 0.034 and TC/CC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.32, 95% CI = 1.03–1.70, P = 0.030 (Table 4)]. In BMI < 24 kg/m2 subgroup, after adjustment for gender, age, smoking status and alcohol use by logistic regression analysis, the TCF7L2 rs290481 TC/CC and TC genotypes increased the risk of T2DM compared with the TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype [TC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.50, 95% CI 1.04–2.17, P = 0.031 and TC/CC vs. TT: adjusted OR = 1.49, 95% CI = 1.05–2.12, P = 0.026 (Table 4)].

Table 4: Stratified analyses between TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism and T2DM risk by sex, age, smoking status, alcohol consumption and BMI

Variable

(case/control)a

Adjusted ORb (95% CI); P

TT

TC

CC

TC /CC

TT

TC

CC

TC /CC

CC vs. (TC/TT)

Sex

Male

114/201

167/223

48/95

215/318

1.00

1.33 (0.98-1.81); P: 0.071

0.90 (0.59-1.37); P: 0.621

1.21 (0.91-1.62); P: 0.198

0.77 (0.53-1.13); P: 0.185

Female

58/112

79/118

31/29

110/147

1.00

1.27 (0.83-1.96); P: 0.277

2.05 (1.12-3.76); P: 0.020

1.47(0.98-2.22); P: 0.064

1.83 (1.05-3.21); P: 0.034

Age (years)

<65

80/153

112/175

32/58

144/233

1.00

1.21 (0.84-1.74); P: 0.306

1.05 (0.63-1.76); P: 0.857

1.19 (0.84-1.68); P: 0.331

0.95 (0.59-1.53); P: 0.833

≥65

92/160

134/166

47/66

181/232

1.00

1.42 (1.01-2.01); P: 0.047

1.27 (0.80-2.01); P: 0.313

1.41 (1.01-1.95); P: 0.042

1.05 (0.69-1.60); P: 0.810

Smoking status

Never

114/217

160/239

57/82

217/321

1.00

1.29 (0.96-1.75); P: 0.097

1.36 (0.90-2.05); P: 0.143

1.31 (0.98-1.75); P: 0.064

1.18 (0.81-1.71); P: 0.391

Ever

58/96

86/102

22/42

108/144

1.00

1.35 (0.87-2.10); P: 0.188

0.79 (0.42-1.47); P: 0.456

1.24 (0.81-1.89); P: 0.315

0.69 (0.39-1.22); P: 0.198

Alcohol use

Never

156/280

219/297

74/110

293/407

1.00

1.33 (1.02-1.74); P: 0.034

1.22 (0.85-1.74); P: 0.282

1.32 (1.03-1.70); P: 0.030

1.05 (0.75-1.45); P: 0.791

Ever

16/33

27/44

5/14

32/58

1.00

1.25 (0.58-2.70); P: 0.564

0.73 (0.22-2.40); P: 0.606

1.18 (0.56-2.51); P: 0.662

0.65 (0.22-1.96); P: 0.445

BMI (kg/m2)

<24

65/175

108/190

35/69

143/259

1.00

1.50 (1.04-2.17); P: 0.031

1.36 (0.83-2.24); P: 0.223

1.49 (1.05-2.12); P: 0.026

1.08 (0.69-1.70); P: 0.720

≥24

107/138

138/151

44/55

182/206

1.00

1.17 (0.83-1.64); P: 0.381

0.99 (0.62-1.59); P: 0.957

1.13 (0.82-1.57); P: 0.447

0.92 (0.59-1.42); P: 0.692

a The genotyping was successful in 502 (99.00%) T2DM cases, and 782 (99.49%) controls for TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C;

b Adjusted for age, sex, BMI, alcohol use and smoking status (besides stratified factors accordingly) in a logistic regression model;

Bold values are statistically significant (P <0.05)

SNP haplotypes

Using SHESIS program [14], we constructed TCF7L2 haplotypes. We found there was no significant difference in TCF7L2 haplotype distribution among T2DM cases and controls (Table 5).

Table 5: TCF7L2 haplotype frequencies (%) in cases and controls and risk of type 2 diabetes

Haplotypes

Cases (n=1004)

Controls (n=1564)

Crude OR (95% CI)

P

n (%)

n (%)

Trs290481Crs7903146

575(58.32)

933(59.96)

1.00

Crs290481Crs7903146

392(39.76)

580(37.28)

1.10(0.93-1.29)

0.292

Trs290481Trs7903146

13(1.32)

34(2.19)

0.62(0.32-1.19)

0.170

Crs290481Trs7903146

6(0.61)

9(0.58)

1.08(0.38-3.06)

1.000

Relationship of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism with biochemistry characteristics

Biochemistry characteristics of T2DM cases may be influenced by diet treatment and pharmacotherapy. Thus, in this stage, we assessed the relationship of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphisms with the biochemistry characteristics in controls. The results are shown in Table 6. We found that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism significantly increased the level of fasting plasma glucose (FPG) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) in controls. When the FPG level of TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype was used as the reference, FPG level of the rs290481 CC genotypes significantly increased [CC vs. TT: P = 0.029(Table 6)]. When the HDL-C level of TCF7L2 rs290481 TT genotype was used as the reference, HDL-C level of the rs290481 TC/CC genotypes significantly increased [TC/CC vs. TT: P = 0.030(Table 6)].

Table 6: Associations of the TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C genetic variants with biochemistry characteristics in healthy controls

Genotype

Controls (n=782)

FPG (mmol/L)

P

Total cholesterol (mmol/L)

P

Triglyceride (mmol/L)

P

HDL-C (mmol/L)

P

LDL-C (mmol/L)

P

n

%

TT

313

40.23

5.11±0.49

1.0

4.86±1.13

1.0

1.60±1.06

1.0

1.27±0.36

1.0

3.13±0.91

1.0

TC

341

43.83

5.13±0.50

0.627

4.88±0.95

0.794

1.53±0.85

0.349

1.32±0.38

0.064

3.13±0.74

0.966

CC

124

15.94

5.22±0.43

0.029

4.96±0.93

0.359

1.50±0.98

0.341

1.34±0.36

0.062

3.19±0.80

0.477

TC+CC

465

59.77

5.15±0.48

0.224

4.90±0.95

0.560

1.52±0.89

0.258

1.33±0.37

0.030

3.15±0.76

0.743

FPG: fasting plasma glucose;

HDL-C, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol;

LDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol;

Bold values are statistically significant (P <0.05)

The power of the present study (α= 0.05)

For TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism, the power value was 0.522 in TC vs. TT and 0.518 in TC/CC vs. TT. In the subgroup analyses, the results of power value were: 0.657 in CC vs. TT and 0.586 in CC vs. TC/TT among female subgroup; 0.518 in TC vs. TT and 0.551 in TC/CC vs. TT among ≥65 years subgroup; 0.569 in TC vs. TT and 0.597 in TC/CC vs. TT among never smoking subgroup, and 0.579 in TC vs. TT and 0.611 in TC/CC vs. TT among never drinking subgroup.

DISCUSSION

In the past decades, diabetes mellitus has become a public health concern worldwide. The characteristics of diabetes mellitus are the increased level of glucose, metabolism disturbance, and absolute and/or relative insulin resistance (IR). T2DM is one of the most common metabolic disorders in which a number of hereditary and environmental factors may contribute to its etiology. In this study, we focused on the association of energy metabolism and insulin-sensibility relative gene (TCF7L2) polymorphisms with T2DM susceptibility. We found TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C was associated with the development of T2DM and the increased level of FPG.

Transcription factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2), a transcription factor, is expressed in pancreatic β-cells [3] and plays an important role in maintaining glucose homeostasis. It is well known that TCF7L2 gene is a candidate susceptibility gene of T2DM [3, 15, 16]. In this study, we selected two functional SNPs in TCF7L2 gene to explore the potential relationship of susceptibility to T2DM. TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism is a locus in intron. Several recent reports suggested that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C might play an important role in diabetes mellitus. Delgado-Lista et al. reported that this SNP was correlated with differences in insulin secretion, blood lipids, coagulation and blood pressure in metabolic syndrome (an entity often preceding T2DM) cases [17]. Another study indicated the rs290481 C allele near the 3’ end of TCF7L2 gene was associated with an increased steady-state plasma glucose concentration, a higher 2-h post-challenge glucose and lower waist circumference in Chinese population [18]. However, a previous case-control study focused on the relationship of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism with gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) in a Chinese Han population and suggested that this polymorphism was not a potential clinical value for the prediction of GDM [19]. In the present study, we identified a significant association between TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism and the development of T2DM. In addition, the rs290481T→C variant in TCF7L2 gene promoted the level of FPG. In the future, function of TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism should be further studied to confirm or refute our primary findings.

Some studies reported that carriers of TCF7L2 rs7903146 T allele have higher susceptibility of T2DM [20]. This phenomenon might be due to impaired insulin secretor and/or insulinotropic effects of incretins rather than an insulin resistance [21, 22]. Recently, several case-control studies focused on the relationship of TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T with the development of T2DM in China [7, 10, 11]. The results of a meta-analysis also indicated that TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T variants might confer an increased risk to T2DM in Chinese population [13]. As shown in Table 4, we failed to establish a significant association between the TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T variants and T2DM in Chinese Han individuals, which was not similar to results of the previous meta-analysis. The low penetrance of T2DM susceptibility from TCF7L2 rs7903146 C>T variants might be diluted by the interaction of gene-gene and gene-environment. Considering the complexity of T2DM etiology, other important genetic and environmental factors should not be ignored.

Like all epidemiological case–control studies, our investigation had several limitations. Firstly, T2DM cases and healthy controls were enrolled from two local hospitals in Eastern China and might therefore not be well-representative of the general Chinese population; the familial T2DM history of the participants was not considered, this bias might lead to spurious findings. Secondly, in this study, we only investigated two functional SNPs in TCF7L2 gene, which might not present an extensive view of the genetic variability of TCF7L2. In the future, further studies with larger sample size are needed to identify the potential genetic mechanism of T2DM by a comprehensive fine-mapping study. Thirdly, the number of participants included was moderate, the statistical power of the present study might be limited. Finally, environmental risk factors may be different between Eastern Chinese Han population and others. Thus, the risk of T2DM is likely to be affected by gene–gene and gene–environment interactions with different degrees. The association of TCF7L2 polymorphism with T2DM risk may differ in different ethnic subgroups.

Our findings suggest that TCF7L2 rs290481 T>C polymorphism is associated with T2DM susceptibility in Eastern Chinese Han population and links to variations in FPG level. In addition, these relationships are more pronounced in female, older subjects and never drinking and BMI < 24 kg/m2 subgroups. A comprehensive fine-mapping study with functional investigation is needed to confirm the potential correlation between TCF7L2 polymorphisms and the development of T2DM.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Subjects

The patient group consisted of 502 subjects with T2DM was diagnosed at the Department of Endocrinology in the Affiliated People’s Hospital of Jiangsu University and Fujian Medical University Union Hospital. Patients with a confirmed diagnosis following the World Health Organization 1999 guidelines of T2DM were enrolled to participate in this case-control study: a FPG level of ≥ 7.0 mmol/L and/or a 2h postprandial plasma glucose (PPG) ≥ 11.1 mmol/L after an oral glucose tolerance test [23]. The healthy control group consisted of 782 subjects who attended health check in these hospitals. The major including criteria for controls were: (a) no history of T2DM, (b) PPG < 7.8 mmol/L and (c) fasting plasma glucose (FPG) < 6.1 mmol/L [24]. T2DM patients and healthy controls were recruited between October 2014 and May 2016 consecutively. There was no significant difference in the distribution of sex or age between these two groups. Our study was approved by the Ethics Committee of Jiangsu University and Fujian Medical University, and all participants signed a written informed consent. All subjects were interviewed by two experienced doctors and answered a questionnaire regarding demographic variables and risk factors. Systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, weight and height were measured. Biochemistry characteristics [e.g. total cholesterol, HDL-C, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), serum triglycerides and FPG) were also tested. BMI was assessed as weight (kg) divided by height (meter) squared. BMI ≥ 24 was used as the criteria for overweight and obesity in Chinese adults [25, 26].

DNA extraction and genotyping

Peripheral blood sample was collected in EDTA vacutainer tubes for the extraction of genomic DNA using the Promega Genomic DNA Purification Kit (Promega, Madison, USA). TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms were determined by the SNPscanTM genotyping assay (Genesky Biotechologies Inc., Shanghai, China), which is a double ligation and multiplex fluorescence PCR [27]. Fifty-two DNA samples were randomly selected and tested again for quality control. The genotypes of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms were confirmed.

Statistical analysis

Continuous variables [e.g. age, BMI, FPG, total cholesterol, triglyceride, HDL-C and LDL-C levels] are expressed as means ±standard deviation (SD). Comparisons between T2DM patients and healthy controls were performed with Student’s t-test. The categorical variables (e.g. TCF7L2 genotypes, sex, age, smoking status, drinking and BMI) were compared with Chi-square test (χ2). Deviations from the HWE in controls were determined by an internet-based calculator (http://ihg.gsf.de/cgi-bin/hw/hwa1.pl). The relationship of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms with T2DM risk was evaluated by odds ratios (ORs) and the corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Multivariate linear regression was harnessed to determine the association of TCF7L2 rs7903146C>T and rs290481 T>C polymorphisms with quantitative traits. All multivariate linear regression analyses were adjusted for age, sex, alcohol use, smoking status and BMI. Analysis was performed with SAS software Version 9.4 (SAS Institute, Cary, NC). A P < 0.05 with two-tailed test was defined as the criterion of statistical significance. In this study, the Power and Sample Size Calculator software (http://biostat.mc.vanderbilt.edu/twiki/bin/view/Main/PowerSampleSize) was used to calculate the power value (α = 0.05). SHESIS software (Bio-X Inc., Shanghai, China, http://analysis.bio-x.cn/myAnalysis.php), an online haplotype calculator, was used to construct TCF7L2 haplotypes [14].

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

We appreciate all subjects who participated in this study. We wish to thank Dr. Yan Liu (Genesky Biotechnologies Inc., Shanghai, China) for technical support.

CONFLICTS OF INTERESTS

The authors have no potential financial conflicts of interests.

GRANT SUPPORT

This study was supported in part by Natural Science Foundation of Universities and Colleges of Jiangsu Province (Grant No. 16KJB310002), Senior Talents Scientific Research Foundation of Jiangsu University (Grant No. 16JDG066), Young and Middle-aged Talent Training Project of Health Development Planning Commission in Fujian Province (2016-ZQN-25 and 2014-ZQN-JC-11), Medical Innovation Project of Fujian Province (2014-CX-15 and 2014-CX-18), Nursery Garden Project of Fujian Medical University (2015MP020) and Science and Technology Project of Fujian Province (2060203).

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