Background: The Meta-Analysis of Glucose and Insulin related traits Consortium (MAGIC) recently identified 16 loci robustly associated with fasting glucose, some of which were also associated with type 2 diabetes. The purpose of our study was to explore the role of these variants in South Asian populations of Punjabi ancestry, originating predominantly from the District of Mirpur, Pakistan.
Methodology/principal findings: Sixteen single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped in 1678 subjects with type 2 diabetes and 1584 normoglycaemic controls from two Punjabi populations; one resident in the UK and one indigenous to the District of Mirpur. In the normoglycaemic controls investigated for fasting glucose associations, 12 of 16 SNPs displayed β values with the same direction of effect as that seen in European studies, although only the SLC30A8 rs11558471 SNP was nominally associated with fasting glucose (β = 0.063 [95% CI: 0.013, 0.113] p = 0.015). Of interest, the MTNR1B rs10830963 SNP displayed a negative β value for fasting glucose in our study; this effect size was significantly lower than that seen in Europeans (p = 1.29×10(-4)). In addition to previously reported type 2 diabetes risk variants in TCF7L2 and SLC30A8, SNPs in ADCY5 (rs11708067) and GLIS3 (rs7034200) displayed evidence for association with type 2 diabetes, with odds ratios of 1.23 (95% CI: 1.09, 1.39; p = 9.1×10(-4)) and 1.16 (95% CI: 1.05, 1.29; p = 3.49×10(-3)) respectively.
Conclusions/significance: Although only the SLC30A8 rs11558471 SNP was nominally associated with fasting glucose in our study, the finding that 12 out of 16 SNPs displayed a direction of effect consistent with European studies suggests that a number of these variants may contribute to fasting glucose variation in individuals of South Asian ancestry. We also provide evidence for the first time in South Asians that alleles of SNPs in GLIS3 and ADCY5 may confer risk of type 2 diabetes.