The human Abelson helper integration site-1 (AHI1) gene is associated with both neurologic and hematologic disorders; however, it is also located in a chromosomal region linked to metabolic syndrome phenotypes and was identified as a type 2 diabetes mellitus susceptibility gene from a genomewide association study. To further define a possible role in type 2 diabetes mellitus development, AHI1 messenger RNA expression levels were investigated in a range of tissues and found to be highly expressed in skeletal muscle as well as displaying elevated levels in brain regions and gonad tissues. Further analysis in a rodent polygenic animal model of obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus identified increased Ahi-1 messenger RNA levels in red gastrocnemius muscle from fasted impaired glucose-tolerant and diabetic rodents compared with healthy animals (P < .002). Moreover, elevated gene expression levels were confirmed in skeletal muscle from fasted obese and type 2 diabetes mellitus human subjects (P < .02). RNAi-mediated suppression of Ahi-1 resulted in increased glucose transport in rat L6 myotubes in both the basal and insulin-stimulated states (P < .01). Finally, single nucleotide polymorphism association studies identified 2 novel AHI1 genetic variants linked with fasting blood glucose levels in Mexican American subjects (P < .037). These findings indicate a novel role for AHI1 in skeletal muscle and identify additional genetic links with metabolic syndrome phenotypes suggesting an involvement of AHI1 in the maintenance of glucose homeostasis and type 2 diabetes mellitus progression.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism