TM6SF2 rs58542926 variant affects postprandial lipoprotein metabolism and glucose homeostasis in NAFLD

J Lipid Res. 2017 Jun;58(6):1221-1229. doi: 10.1194/jlr.M075028. Epub 2017 Feb 27.


Mechanisms underlying the opposite effects of transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2 (TM6SF2) rs58542926 C>T polymorphism on liver injury and cardiometabolic risk in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are unclear. We assessed the impact of this polymorphism on postprandial lipoprotein metabolism, glucose homeostasis, and nutrient oxidation in NAFLD. Sixty nonobese nondiabetic normolipidemic biopsy-proven NAFLD patients and 60 matched controls genotyped for TM6SF2 C>T polymorphism underwent: indirect calorimetry; an oral fat tolerance test with measurement of plasma lipoprotein subfractions, adipokines, and incretin glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP); and an oral glucose tolerance test with minimal model analysis of glucose homeostasis. The TM6SF2 T-allele was associated with higher hepatic and adipose insulin resistance, impaired pancreatic β-cell function and incretin effect, and higher muscle insulin sensitivity and whole-body fat oxidation rate. Compared with the TM6SF2 C-allele, the T-allele entailed lower postprandial lipemia and nefaemia, a less atherogenic lipoprotein profile, and a postprandial cholesterol (Chol) redistribution from smaller atherogenic lipoprotein subfractions to larger intestinal and hepatic VLDL1 subfractions. Postprandial plasma VLDL1-Chol response independently predicted the severity of liver histology. In conclusion, the TM6SF2 C>T polymorphism affects nutrient oxidation, glucose homeostasis, and postprandial lipoprotein, adipokine, and GIP responses to fat ingestion independently of fasting values. These differences may contribute to the dual and opposite effect of this polymorphism on liver injury and cardiometabolic risk in NAFLD.

Keywords: cholesterol; lipemia; lipoprotein subfractions; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; transmembrane 6 superfamily member 2.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Homeostasis / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Lipoproteins / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / genetics
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / metabolism*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / physiopathology
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide*
  • Postprandial Period*


  • Lipoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • TM6SF2 protein, human
  • Glucose