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Genetic variation in aldosterone synthase predicts plasma glucose levels

The National Academy of Sciences
Publication Date
  • Biological Sciences


The mineralocorticoid hormone, aldosterone, is known to play a role in sodium homeostasis. We serendipitously found, however, highly significant association between single-nucleotide polymorphisms in the aldosterone synthase gene and plasma glucose levels in a large population of Chinese and Japanese origin. Two polymorphisms—one in the putative promoter (T-344C) and another resulting in a lysine/arginine substitution at amino acid 173, which are in complete linkage disequilibrium in this population—were associated with fasting plasma glucose levels (P = 0.000017) and those 60 (P = 0.017) and 120 (P = 0.0019) min after an oral glucose challenge. A C/T variant in intron 1, between these polymorphisms, was not associated with glucose levels. Arg-173 and -344C homozygotes were most likely to be diabetic [odds ratio 2.51; 95% confidence interval (C.I.) 1.39–3.92; P = 0.0015] and have impaired fasting glucose levels (odds ratio 3.53; 95% C.I. 2.02–5.5; P = 0.0000036). These results suggest a new role for aldosterone in glucose homeostasis.

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