Elevations in the fasting serum Proinsulin-to-C-peptide ratio precede the onset of type 1 diabetes

Emily K. Sims, Zunaira Chaudhry, Renecia Watkins, Farooq Syed, Janice Blum, Fangqian Ouyang, Susan M. Perkins, Raghavendra G. Mirmira, Jay Sosenko, Linda A. DiMeglio, Carmella Evans-Molina

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71 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE We tested whether an elevation in the serum proinsulin-to-C-peptide ratio (PI:C), a biomarker of β-cell endoplasmic reticulum(ER) dysfunction,was associated with progression to type 1 diabetes. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS Fasting total PI and C levels were measured in banked serum samples obtained from TrialNet Pathway to Prevention (PTP) participants, a cohort of autoantibodypositive relatives without diabetes of individuals with type 1 diabetes. Samples were obtained ∼12 months before diabetes onset from PTP progressors in whom diabetes developed (n = 60), and were compared with age-, sex-, and BMImatched nonprogressors who remained normoglycemic (n = 58). PI:C ratios were calculated as molar ratios and were multiplied by 100% to obtain PI levels as a percentage of C levels. RESULTS Although absolute PI levels did not differ between groups, PI:C ratios were significantly increased in antibody-positive subjects in whom there was progression to diabetes compared with nonprogressors (median 1.81% vs. 1.17%, P = 0.03). The difference between groups was most pronounced in subjects who were ≤10 years old, where the median progressor PI:C ratio was nearly triple that of nonprogressors; 90.0% of subjects in this age group within the upper PI:C quartile progressed to the development of diabetes. Logistic regression analysis, adjusted for age and BMI, demonstrated increased odds of progression for higher natural log PI:C ratio values (odds ratio 1.44, 95% CI 1.02, 2.05). CONCLUSIONS These data suggest that β-cell ER dysfunction precedes type 1 diabetes onset, especially in younger children. Elevations in the serum PI:C ratio may have utility in predicting the onset of type 1 diabetes in the presymptomatic phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1519-1526
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes care
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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