SNP rs7903146 in the Wnt pathway's TCF7L2 gene is the variant most significantly associated with type 2 diabetes to date, with associations observed across diverse populations. We sought to determine whether variants in other Wnt pathway genes are also associated with this disease. We evaluated 69 genes involved in the Wnt pathway, including TCF7L2, for associations with type 2 diabetes in 2632 African American cases and 2596 controls from the Black Women's Health Study. Tag SNPs for each gene region were genotyped on a custom Affymetrix Axiom Array, and imputation was performed to 1000 Genomes Phase 3 data. Gene-based analyses were conducted using the adaptive rank truncated product (ARTP) statistic. The PSMD2 gene was significantly associated with type 2 diabetes after correction for multiple testing (corrected p = 0.016), based on the nine most significant single variants in the +/- 20 kb region surrounding the gene, which includes nearby genes EIF4G1, ECE2, and EIF2B5. Association data on four of the nine variants were available from an independent sample of 8284 African American cases and 15,543 controls; associations were in the same direction, but weak and not statistically significant. TCF7L2 was the only other gene associated with type 2 diabetes at nominal p <0.01 in our data. One of the three variants in the best gene-based model for TCF7L2, rs114770437, was not correlated with the GWAS index SNP rs7903146 and may represent an independent association signal seen only in African ancestry populations. Data on this SNP were not available in the replication sample.
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