Polymorphisms in the human glutathione transferase Kappa (GSTK1) promoter alter gene expression.

PMID 20193754


The level of glutathione transferase Kappa (GSTK1-1) has been correlated with obesity (Liu 2008 PNAS 105: 18302-7) and a polymorphism in the hGSTK1 promoter has been associated with insulin secretion and fat deposition (Gao et al 2009 Endocr J 56: 487-94). We searched for additional polymorphisms that may influence GSTK1-1 function or expression. Two SNPs were identified in the 5' non-coding region. A SNP at -1308 that occurs in Chinese subjects is predicted to eliminate a FXR/RXR transcription factor-binding site and causes a 55% increase in transcription rate in HepG2 cells and a 59% decrease in HEK293 cells. These data suggest that the impact of this polymorphism is complex and tissue specific. A SNP at -1032 alters a methylation site and represses transcription by 38%. These observations provide the first functional insight into genetic factors that regulate hGSTK1 expression and may directly influence insulin secretion and fat deposition.