Evaluation of gremlin 1 (GREM1) as a candidate susceptibility gene for albuminuria-related traits in Mexican Americans with type 2 diabetes mellitus

Farook Thameem, Sobha Puppala, Xin He, Nedal H. Arar, Michael P. Stern, John C Blangero, Ravindranath Duggirala, Hanna E. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Several novel genes that are up-regulated in the kidney in diabetes have been identified including GREM1, which encodes gremlin 1. GREM1 maps to human chromosome 15q12, a region previously found to be linked to albumin to creatinine ratio (ACR) in Mexican Americans. The objective of this study is to investigate whether genetic variants in GREM1, a positional candidate gene, contribute to variation in ACR. By sequencing 32 individuals for both exons and 2-kilobase putative promoter region of GREM1, we identified 19 genetic variants including 5 in the promoter region and 13 in the 3′ untranslated region. Of 19 polymorphisms identified, 13 polymorphisms were genotyped in the entire cohort (N = 670, 39 large families) either by restriction fragment length polymorphism or by TaqMan (Applied Biosystems, Foster City, CA) assays. Association analyses between the genotypes and ACR, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and related phenotypes were carried out using a measured genotype approach as implemented in the variance component analytical tools (SOLAR). Of the variants examined for association, none exhibited statistically significant association with ACR after accounting for the effects of covariates such as age, sex, diabetes, duration of diabetes, systolic blood pressure, and antihypertensive medications. However, 2 novel variants at the 3′ untranslated region showed significant association with estimated glomerular filtration rate (P = .010 and P = .049) and body mass index (P = .013 and P = .019) after accounting for trait-specific covariate influences. Furthermore, a novel variant located in the promoter exhibited a significant association with systolic (P = .038) and diastolic blood pressure (P = .005) after adjusting for the effects of age, sex, diabetes, and antihypertensive medications. In conclusion, the variants examined at GREM1 are not significant contributors to variation in ACR in Mexican Americans, although they appear to minimally influence risk factors related to ACR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1496-1502
Number of pages7
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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