The paternally inherited insulin gene B allele (1,428 FokI site) confers protection from insulin-dependent diabetes in families

Alberto Pugliese, Zuheir L. Awdeh, Chester A. Alper, Richard A. Jackson, George S. Eisenbarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations


Several polymorphisms of the insulin gene and its flanking regions (INS region) are in linkage disequilibrium and confer susceptibility to insulin-dependent diabetes (IDDM). We have analysed INS AA and AB-BB genotypes at the 1,428 FokI site (3' of the insulin gene) in 217 patients with IDDM, 402 non-diabetic first degree relatives negative for insulin (IAA) and islet cell autoantibodies (ICA), and 116 autoantibody positive (for ICA or IAA, or both) relatives of whom 39 became diabetic on follow-up. Most IDDM patients (83.4%, 181/217) had the AA genotype vs. 50% (25/50) of the controls (P<10-6). Only 16.6% (36/217) of IDDM patients carried the AB genotype and none was BB homozygous, suggesting a protective effect of the B allele. By segregation analysis of the B allele in the IDDM offspring of informative families (only one AB parent) from the United States, the maternal B allele was inherited by 19/35 (54.2%) of the IDDM offspring. In contrast, only 4/26 (15.3%) of the IDDM offspring inherited the paternal B allele (P=0.001), suggesting maternal imprinting of the INS region. Therefore, the INS B allele may be protective only when paternally inherited. Among the 39 of 116 autoantibody positive relatives who developed IDDM on follow-up, only five of them had the B allele. The frequency of the B allele in this group was much lower (12.8%, 5/39) than that observed in non-diabetic autoantibody positive relatives (32.5%, 25/77, P=0.02). By lifetable analysis, autoantibody posiitive relatives with the B allele showed slower and lesser progression to IDDM than those without it (Log-rank test, P=0.04). In conclusion, we find a protective effect of the paternally inherited B allele in diabetic families from the United States and in their autoantibody positive first degree relatives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)687-694
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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