Impact of the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor-1 α (HIF1A) Pro582Ser Polymorphism on Diabetes Nephropathy

  1. Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina, MD, PHD1
  1. 1Rolf Luft Research Center for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Department of Molecular Medicine and Surgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden
  2. 2Cardiovascular, Diabetes and Nutrition Research Centre, Institute for Medical Research, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  1. Corresponding authors: Harvest F. Gu,{at}, and Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina, sergiu-bogdan.catrina{at}


OBJECTIVE Hypoxia plays a major pathogenic role in diabetic nephropathy (DN). We have investigated in this study the effect of hypoxia-inducible factor 1 α subunit (HIF1A) genetic polymorphisms on the development of DN.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS In 1,165 American type 1 diabetic patients with and without DN selected from the Genetics of Kidneys in Diabetes (GoKinD) study, the HIF1A genetic polymorphisms were genotyped with TaqMan allelic discrimination. The regulation of HIF-1α in the kidneys of diabetic mice was appreciated by immunohistochemistry, and the effect HIF1A Pro582Ser polymorphism on HIF-1α sensitivity to glucose was evaluated in vitro.

RESULTS We identified a protective association between HIF1A Pro582Ser polymorphism and DN in male subjects. We also provided mechanistic insights that HIF-1α is repressed in the medulla of diabetic mice despite hypoxia and that Pro582Ser polymorphism confers less sensitivity to the inhibitory effect of glucose during a hypoxic challenge.

CONCLUSIONS The current study demonstrates for the first time that HIF1A Pro582Ser polymorphism has an effect on DN, possibly by conferring a relative resistance to the repressive effect of glucose on HIF-1α.


  • A slide set summarizing this article is available online.

  • Received June 13, 2012.
  • Accepted July 19, 2012.

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  1. Diabetes Care vol. 36 no. 2 415-421
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