Skeletal muscle and intermuscular adipose tissue gene expression profiling identifies new biomarkers with prognostic significance for insulin resistance progression and intervention response

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

  • Dominik Lutter
  • Stephan Sachs
  • Marc Walter
  • Anna Kerege
  • Leigh Perreault
  • Darcy E Kahn
  • Amare D Wolide
  • Kleinert, Maximilian
  • Bryan C Bergman
  • Susanna M Hofmann

Aims/hypothesis: Although insulin resistance often leads to type 2 diabetes mellitus, its early stages are often unrecognised, thus reducing the probability of successful prevention and intervention. Moreover, treatment efficacy is affected by the genetics of the individual. We used gene expression profiles from a cross-sectional study to identify potential candidate genes for the prediction of diabetes risk and intervention response.

Methods: Using a multivariate regression model, we linked gene expression profiles of human skeletal muscle and intermuscular adipose tissue (IMAT) to fasting glucose levels and glucose infusion rate. Based on the expression patterns of the top predictive genes, we characterised and compared individual gene expression with clinical classifications using k-nearest neighbour clustering. The predictive potential of the candidate genes identified was validated using muscle gene expression data from a longitudinal intervention study.

Results: We found that genes with a strong association with clinical measures clustered into three distinct expression patterns. Their predictive values for insulin resistance varied substantially between skeletal muscle and IMAT. Moreover, we discovered that individual gene expression-based classifications may differ from classifications based predominantly on clinical variables, indicating that participant stratification may be imprecise if only clinical variables are used for classification. Of the 15 top candidate genes, ST3GAL2, AASS, ARF1 and the transcription factor SIN3A are novel candidates for predicting a refined diabetes risk and intervention response.

Conclusion/interpretation: Our results confirm that disease progression and successful intervention depend on individual gene expression states. We anticipate that our findings may lead to a better understanding and prediction of individual diabetes risk and may help to develop individualised intervention strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)873-883
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© 2023. The Author(s).

    Research areas

  • Faculty of Science - Computational health, Diabetes subtypes, Glucose intolerance, Insulin resistance, Intermuscular adipose tissue, Obesity, Personalised medicine, Response to treatment prediction, Type 2 diabetes


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