Polymorphisms and functions of the aldose reductase gene 5' regulatory region in Chinese patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Chin Med J (Engl). 2002 Feb;115(2):209-13.


Objective: To screen the 5' regulatory region of the aldose reductase (AR) gene for genetic variabilities causing changes in protein expression and affecting the promoter function.

Methods: The screenings were carried out by polymerase chain reaction-single strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP). All SSCP variants were submitted for DNA sequencing and inserted into the plasmid chloromycetin acetyl transferase (CAT) enhancer vector. The constructs were used to transfect Hela cells, and CAT assays were performed to assess promoter activity. Gel mobility shift and footprinting assays were also performed to determine the interaction between the DNA and nuclear proteins.

Results: Two polymorphisms, C (-106) T and C (-12) G, were identified in the regulatory region in 123 Chinese control subjects and 145 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. The frequencies of genotypes WT/WT, WT/C (-12) G and WT/C (-106) T were not significantly different between the subjects and patients. In the patients with and without retinopathy, frequencies of WT/C (-106) T were 31.5% and 17.5% (P < 0.05) respectively, and the frequencies of WT/C (-12) G were 10.5% and 2.5% (P > 0.05) respectively. The total frequency of WT/C (-12) G and WT/C (-106) T in patients with retinopathy was 41.8%, significantly higher than that (20.0%) in patients without retinopathy (P < 0.025). The relative transcription activities of the wild-type, the C (-12) G and the C (-106) T were 15.7%, 31.0% and 32.2%, respectively. The results of DNA-protein interaction assays showed that these variations did not change the binding site of DNA with trans-acting factors.

Conclusion: The polymorphisms C (-12) G and C (-106) T strongly associated with diabetic retinopathy in the Chinese population have been identified in the regulatory region of the aldose reductase gene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Flanking Region / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aldehyde Reductase / genetics*
  • Aldehyde Reductase / metabolism
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • China
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / genetics
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase / metabolism
  • DNA / chemistry
  • DNA / genetics
  • DNA Footprinting
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics*
  • Electrophoretic Mobility Shift Assay
  • Female
  • HeLa Cells
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mutation
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Polymorphism, Single-Stranded Conformational
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / genetics
  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins / metabolism
  • Regulatory Sequences, Nucleic Acid / genetics*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcription, Genetic


  • Recombinant Fusion Proteins
  • DNA
  • Aldehyde Reductase
  • Chloramphenicol O-Acetyltransferase