Preliminary studies on CD36 gene in type 2 diabetic patients from north India


BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES The greater tendency to diabetes in Indians may be due to genetic factors in addition to environment and diet. CD36, a class B scavenger cell surface receptor mediates internalization of oxidized low density lipoprotein (Ox-LDL) leading to the formation of macrophage foam cells. CD36 deficiency is related to phenotypic expression of the metabolic syndrome, frequently associated with atherosclerotic cardiovascular diseases resulting in raised levels of glucose thereby contributing to type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Therefore, the association of human CD36 gene mutation to T2DM needs investigation. We undertook this study to investigate CD36 gene status in north Indian subjects by screening for the deletion of exons 3, 4 and 5 and certain polymorphisms. METHODS Clinical characteristics were compared between 300 T2DM patients and 100 healthy controls. Deletion analysis was carried out for exons 3, 4 and 5 of CD36 gene in 300 T2DM patients using PCR and agarose gel electrophoresis. Genotype analysis for two polymorphisms 478C>T and delAC in exons 4 and 5 respectively was carried out using PCR-RFLP method. RESULTS Biochemical parameters such as fasting and post-prandial glucose levels, total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and blood pressure were slightly raised in the T2DM patients when compared with controls with lowered HDL-cholesterol. No exonic deletion was observed in the 300 patients and 100 controls screened. All individuals were found to be homozygous (CC and -/-) for the two polymorphisms studied. INTERPRETATION & CONCLUSIONS Although no exonic deletion was found in T2DM patients, our study suggests that all 15 exons need to be screened for mutations which lead to CD36 deficiency. Genotyping studies of the two SNPs in the CD36 gene confirmed the absence of exons 4 and 5 deletion. This is perhaps the first report from India suggesting that CD36 is one of the several important genes that need to be explored in relation to T2DM.


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