Genes associated with Type 2 Diabetes and vascular complications

Alberto Montesanto, Anna Rita Bonfigli, Paolina Crocco, Paolo Garagnani, Maria De Luca, Massimo Boemi, Elena Marasco, Chiara Pirazzini, Cristina Giuliani, Claudio Franceschi, Giuseppe Passarino, Roberto Testa, Fabiola Olivieri, Giuseppina Rose

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) is a chronic disease associated with a number of micro- and macrovascular complications that increase the morbidity and mortality of patients. The risk of diabetic complications has a strong genetic component. To this end, we sought to evaluate the association of 40 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 21 candidate genes with T2D and its vascular complications in 503 T2D patients and 580 healthy controls. The genes were chosen because previously reported to be associated with T2D complications and/or with the aging process. We replicated the association of T2D risk with IGF2BP rs4402960 and detected novel associations with TERT rs2735940 and rs2736098. The addition of these SNPs to a model including traditional risk factors slightly improved risk prediction. After stratification of patients according to the presence/absence of vascular complications, we found significant associations of variants in the CAT, FTO, and UCP1 genes with diabetic retinopathy and nephropathy. Additionally, a variant in the ADIPOQ gene was found associated with macrovascular complications. Notably, these genes are involved in some way in mitochondrial biology and reactive oxygen species regulation. Hence, our findings strongly suggest a potential link between mitochondrial oxidative homeostasis and individual predisposition to diabetic vascular complications.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)178-196
Number of pages19
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Aging
  • Diabetes complications
  • Genetic profile
  • SNP
  • Type 2 diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cell Biology


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