We investigated cross-sectionally whether the type 2 diabetes (T2DM) risk alleles of rs1801282 (PPARG2) and rs4607103 (ADAMTS9) were associated with T2DM and/or insulin sensitivity (IS) and beta cell function (βF) in Italians without and with newly diagnosed T2DM. In 676 nondiabetic subjects (336 NGR and 340 IGR) from the GENFIEV study and in 597 patients from the Verona Newly Diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes Study (VNDS), we (1) genotyped rs1801282 and rs4607103, (2) assessed βF by C-peptide/glucose modeling after OGTT, and (3) assessed IS by HOMA-IR in both studies and by euglycemic insulin clamp in VNDS only. Logistic, linear, and two-stage least squares regression analyses were used to test (a) genetic associations with T2DM and with pathophysiological phenotypes, (b) causal relationships of the latter ones with T2DM by a Mendelian randomization design. Both SNPs were associated with T2DM. The rs4607103 risk allele was associated to impaired βF (p < 0.01) in the GENFIEV study and in both cohorts combined. The rs1801282 genotype was associated with IS both in the GENFIEV study (p < 0.03) and in the VNDS (p < 0.03), whereas rs4607103 did so in the VNDS only (p = 0.01). In a Mendelian randomization design, both HOMA-IR (instrumental variables: rs1801282, rs4607103) and βF (instrumental variable: rs4607103) were related to T2DM (p < 0.03-0.01 and p < 0.03, respectively). PPARG2 and ADAMTS9 variants are both associated with T2DM and with insulin resistance, whereas only ADAMTS9 may be related to βF. Thus, at least in Italians, they may be considered bona fide "insulin resistance genes".
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