Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), otherwise called amylin, is the monomeric component of islet amyloid. Deposition of this amyloid is a characteristic feature of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in humans and may play a role in the pathogenesis of the disease. As such, abnormalities in the structure or expression of the IAPP gene might contribute to the inheritance of this condition. The IAPP gene was studied in a well-characterised population of 62 unrelated Dravidian subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus and 56 normal Dravidian controls, using a restriction fragment length polymorphism generated by PvuII digestion. Genotype and allele frequencies did not differ between diabetic subjects and controls. Taken together with recent findings in Europid and other racial groups, an abnormality of the IAPP gene is highly unlikely to represent a major gene for the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.