OBJECTIVE Small molecules that disrupt the binding between glucokinase and glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) are potential new glucose-lowering targets. They stimulate hepatic glucose disposal by increasing glucokinase activity in the liver. It can, however, be anticipated that increased hepatic glucokinase activity might be accompanied by the development of hypertriglyceridemia, particularly in type 2 diabetes. We examined whether the strength of association between rs1260326, a common, functional gene variant in GKRP, and plasma lipids is affected by glucose metabolism.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS rs1260326 was genotyped in subjects with normal glucose metabolism (n = 497), subjects with impaired glucose metabolism (n = 256), and patients with type 2 diabetes (n = 351) in the combined Hoorn and Cohort on Diabetes and Atherosclerosis Maastricht (CODAM) studies.
RESULTS The strength of association between the rs1260326 minor T allele and plasma triglycerides increased from normal glucose metabolism to impaired glucose metabolism to type 2 diabetes (P for interaction = 0.002). The inverse relation between rs1260326 and plasma HDL cholesterol was again most prominent in type 2 diabetes (P for interaction = 0.004). Similar trends were observed when the Hoorn and CODAM cohorts were analyzed separately. Comparable results were obtained when glucose metabolism strata were replaced by continuous indices of glucose metabolism, i.e., HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose.
CONCLUSIONS These findings illustrate that common gene variants, such as rs1260326, can have substantial effect sizes when they are studied in specific populations, such as type 2 diabetes. Moreover, our results shed light on potential side effects of small molecule disruptors of the GKRP-glucokinase complex, especially when glucose control is suboptimal.
- Received January 25, 2016.
- Accepted May 28, 2016.
- © 2016 by the American Diabetes Association.