Aims/hypothesis: Plasma cell membrane glycoprotein 1 (PC-1) inhibits insulin signalling by direct interaction with the insulin receptor alpha subunit. This inhibition is enhanced by the minor Q allele of the K121Q polymorphism (rs1044498) in the gene (ENPP1) encoding PC-1. This polymorphism has been studied in relation to insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity in several populations with conflicting results. We assessed the impact of the ENPP1 K121Q polymorphism on type 2 diabetes, obesity and quantitative metabolic traits in 7,333 Danes.
Subjects and methods: The K121Q polymorphism was genotyped in the population-based Inter99 study cohort (5,961 subjects) and in a group of 1,386 patients with type 2 diabetes. All subjects were Danish whites.
Results: No significant associations with type 2 diabetes or related quantitative metabolic traits, including measures of insulin resistance, were detected. However, a meta-analysis of the present and published studies revealed an association with type 2 diabetes (odds ratio per Q allele, 1.17 [95% CI 1.10-1.25], p=1x10(-6)). In case-control studies comparing subjects of different BMI strata, we observed a putative association of the codon 121 QQ genotype with being overweight (BMI>25 kg/m(2); odds ratio 1.63 [95% CI 1.09-2.46], p=0.015), an association not observed when comparing other levels of BMI or when analysing BMI as a quantitative trait.
Conclusions/interpretation: In a meta-analysis, the ENPP1 codon 121 Q allele associates with type 2 diabetes. However, a similar association was not found in the present study of Danish white subjects. The effect of this variant on obesity in Danish subjects is contentious and further study is needed.