Association of KIR2DL2 polymorphism rs2756923 with type 1 diabetes and preliminary evidence for lack of inhibition through HLA-C1 ligand binding

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Killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) on chromosome 19q13.4 regulate the function of not only human natural killer (NK) cells but also T cells. An increase in activating KIR- human leucocyte antigen ligand pairs has been associated with an additional risk to develop type 1 diabetes (T1D). T1D families [n = 184 (552 individuals); n = 176 (528 subjects)], unrelated T1D patients (n = 380; n = 394) and healthy controls (n = 315; n = 401) from Germany and Belgium, respectively, were genotyped for the rs2756923 polymorphism within the KIR gene cluster haplotype B in exon 8 of the KIR2DL2 gene. We observed in both Germans and Belgians an overtransmission of the allele ‘G’ of the KIR2DL2-rs2756923 polymorphism (64.2% vs 35.8%, P = 3 × 10−4 and 60.0% vs 40.0%, P = 0.02, respectively). In addition, this allele was more frequent in German patients than in healthy controls (78.4% vs 21.6%, P = 1 × 10−3). Preliminary results from a cytotoxicity assay suggest that inhibition of NK-cell cytotoxicity may be impaired in individuals carrying the rs2756923 G allele. These data suggest a potential role of the KIR2DL2-rs2756923 polymorphism in T1D in Germans and Belgians.

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