Aims/hypothesis: We have analysed to what extent two previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms in the sulphonylurea receptor gene (SUR1) are associated with Type II (non-insulin-dependent) diabetes mellitus in The Netherlands. Furthermore, we estimated haplotype frequencies in control and diabetic populations, including data extracted from three other studies.
Methods: Subjects with Type II diabetes (n = 388) and normoglycaemic subjects (n = 336) were randomly selected from two population-based studies, the Hoorn and Rotterdam studies. DNA was typed for variants in exon 16 (-3c-->t variant in the splice acceptor site) and exon 18 (Thr759Thr, ACC-->ACT).
Results: The genotype frequencies in both populations were similar. We observed an association of the exon 16-3t variant with Type II diabetes (allele frequencies 0.41 % vs 0.48 % in NGT and Type II diabetes, respectively, p = 0.01). There was no association between Type II diabetes and the variant in exon 18 or the combination of both variants (p > 0.5). A strong linkage disequilibrium between the exon 16 and exon 18 variants was observed in the diabetic groups but not, or less pronounced, in the control groups from the different studies. Haplotype estimation shows that several different risk haplotypes exist in different Caucasian populations.
Conclusion/interpretation: The exon 16-3t allele of the SUR1 gene is associated with Type II diabetes in the Netherlands. Based on estimated haplotype frequencies in different Caucasian populations we conclude that multiple haplotypes on the SUR1 gene seem to confer a risk for developing Type II diabetes in Caucasians.