Evaluation of tight junction protein 1 encoding zona occludens 1 as a candidate gene for albuminuria in a Mexican American population

Donna M. Lehman, R. J. Leach, T. Johnson-Pais, J. Hamlington, S. Fowler, L. Almasy, R. Duggirala, M. P. Stern, H. E. Abboud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Albuminuria, a hallmark of diabetic nephropathy, has been shown to be significantly heritable in multiple studies. Therefore, the identification of genes that affect susceptibility to albuminuria may lead to novel avenues of intervention. Current evidence suggests that the podocyte and slit diaphragm play a key role in controlling the selective sieve of the glomerular filtration barrier, and podocyte-specific genes have been identified that are necessary for maintaining its integrity. We therefore investigated the role of gene variants of tight junction protein (TJP1) which encodes another slit diaphragm-associated protein zona occludens 1 as risk factors for albuminuria in the San Antonio Family Diabetes/Gallbladder Study (SAFDGS), which consists of extended Mexican-American families with a high prevalence of type 2 diabetes. Albuminuria, defined as an albumin (mg/dl) to creatinine (mg/dl) ratio (ACR) of 0.03, which is approximately equivalent to a urinary albumin excretion (UAE) > 30 mg/day, was present in a total of 14.9% of participants, and 31% had type 2 diabetes. The TJP1 exons, flanking intronic sequence, and putative proximal promoter regions were investigated in this population. Twentynine polymorphisms, including 7 nonsynonymous SNPs, were identified and genotyped in all subjects of this study for association analysis. Three sets of correlated SNPs, which include 3 exonic SNPs, were nominally associated with ACR (p value range 0.007-0.049); however, the association with the discrete trait albuminuria was not significant (p value range 0.094-0.338). We conclude that these variants in TJP1 do not appear to be major determinants for albuminuria in the SAFDGS; however, they may play a minor role in its severity in this Mexican-American population. Further examination of the TJP1 gene region in this and other cohorts will be useful to determine whether ZO-1 plays a significant role in glomerular permselectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-437
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Clinical Endocrinology and Diabetes
Issue number8
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Cardiovascular incidences
  • Cardiovascular risk management
  • Diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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