+647 A/C and +1245 MT1A polymorphisms in the susceptibility of diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular complications

R. Giacconi, A. R. Bonfigli, R. Testa, C. Sirolla, C. Cipriano, M. Marra, E. Muti, M. Malavolta, L. Costarelli, F. Piacenza, S. Tesei, E. Mocchegiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease characterized by an overproduction of reactive oxygen species, which perturbs zinc metabolism and promotes the onset of cardiovascular disease (CVD) in diabetic patients. Metallothioneins (MT) are cysteine-rich metal-binding proteins which, by means of their antioxidant and zinc-buffering properties, might prevent the development of diabetic cardiovascular complications. A recent investigation shows that a polymorphism (+647 A/C) in the human MT-1A gene, affects the intracellular zinc ion release (iZnR) from the proteins and is associated with longevity in Italian population. The aim of the present study is to assess the involvement of +647 A/C and +1245 A/G MT1A polymorphisms with the susceptibility to type 2 diabetes (DM2) and cardiovascular complications. The study included 694 old individuals: 242 old healthy controls, 217 DM2 patients without clinical evidence of CVD (DNC) and 235 diabetic patients with diagnosis of CVD (DCVD). +647 A/C MT1A polymorphism, but not the second SNP, was associated with DM2. C allele carriers were more prevalent in DNC and DCVD patients than in control group (OR = 1.37, p = 0.034; OR = 1.54, p = 0.002, respectively). C+ carriers was associated with higher glycemia and glycosylated hemoglobin in DCVD patients, but not in DNC or control subjects. No differences in plasma zinc, but a modulation of MT levels and iZnR in PBMCs were observed in DCVD cohort when related to +647 A/C MT1A polymorphism. In summary, this work provides novel evidence on the association of the +647 A/C MT1A polymorphism with DM2. Moreover, C+ carriers in DCVD patients presented a worse glycemic control, a reduced iZnR and a higher MT levels, suggesting a possible role of MT in diabetic cardiovascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-104
Number of pages7
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - May 2008


  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Elderly
  • MT polymorphism
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Zinc

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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