Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2013, Article ID 376454, 13 pages
Review Article

Variants of Insulin-Signaling Inhibitor Genes in Type 2 Diabetes and Related Metabolic Abnormalities

Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Catanzaro “Magna Graecia”, 88100 Catanzaro, Italy

Received 1 March 2013; Accepted 23 April 2013

Academic Editor: Eusebio Chiefari

Copyright © 2013 Carlo de Lorenzo et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Insulin resistance has a central role in the pathogenesis of several metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, glucose intolerance, metabolic syndrome, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases. Insulin resistance and related traits are likely to be caused by abnormalities in the genes encoding for proteins involved in the composite network of insulin-signaling; in this review we have focused our attention on genetic variants of insulin-signaling inhibitor molecules. These proteins interfere with different steps in insulin-signaling: ENPP1/PC-1 and the phosphatases PTP1B and PTPRF/LAR inhibit the insulin receptor activation; INPPL1/SHIP-2 hydrolyzes PI3-kinase products, hampering the phosphoinositide-mediated downstream signaling; and TRIB3 binds the serine-threonine kinase Akt, reducing its phosphorylation levels. While several variants have been described over the years for all these genes, solid evidence of an association with type 2 diabetes and related diseases seems to exist only for rs1044498 of the ENPP1 gene and for rs2295490 of the TRIB3 gene. However, overall the data recapitulated in this Review article may supply useful elements to interpret the results of novel, more technically advanced genetic studies; indeed it is becoming increasingly evident that genetic information on metabolic diseases should be interpreted taking into account the complex biological pathways underlying their pathogenesis.