The Transcription Factor TFAP2B Is Associated With Insulin Resistance and Adiposity in Healthy Adolescents




Insulin resistance and central adiposity are strong risk indicators for type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease. An important role for adipose tissue in the etiology and progression of these conditions has recently become more evident. A transcription factor, TFAP2B, has been shown to participate in the regulation of adipocyte metabolism, by facilitating glucose uptake and lipid accumulation, while simultaneously reducing insulin sensitivity, and recently a direct function for TFAP2B as an inhibitor of adiponectin expression was observed. In this study, we have investigated how insulin resistance, plasma adiponectin, and central adiposity, in a normal population of adolescents, are affected by genetic variability in TFAP2B. Our results show that both insulin sensitivity, as measured from levels of fasting glucose and insulin, and central adiposity, estimated by subscapular skinfold thickness, were significantly associated to genetic variability in TFAP2B. This association was restricted to males only, where carriers of the 4-repeat allele of intron 2 had higher insulin sensitivity and lower subscapular skinfold thickness. Levels of adiponectin did not show any association to the TFAP2B polymorphism, but was negatively correlated to central adiposity in females. These results suggest that reduction of TFAP2B expression could have a protective effect against future risk of complications associated with decreased insulin sensitivity and central adiposity, such as type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.