Genetic variation in Kruppel like factor 15 is associated with left ventricular hypertrophy in patients with type 2 diabetes: discovery and replication cohorts

Sheila K. Patel (Lead / Corresponding author), Bryan Wai, Chim C. Lang (Lead / Corresponding author), Daniel Levin, Colin N. A. Palmer, Helen M. Parry, Elena Velkoska, Stephen B. Harrap, Piyush M. Srivastava, Louise M. Burrell (Lead / Corresponding author)

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Left ventricular (LV) hypertrophy (LVH) is a heritable trait that is common in type 2 diabetes and is associated with the development of heart failure. The transcriptional factor Kruppel like factor 15 (KLF15) is expressed in the heart and acts as a repressor of cardiac hypertrophy in experimental models. This study investigated if KLF15 gene variants were associated with LVH in type 2 diabetes. In stage 1 of a 2-stage approach, patients with type 2 diabetes and no known cardiac disease were prospectively recruited for a transthoracic echocardiographic assessment (Melbourne Diabetes Heart Cohort) (n=318) and genotyping of two KLF15 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) (rs9838915, rs6796325). In stage 2, the association of KLF15 SNPs with LVH was investigated in the Genetics of Diabetes Audit and Research in Tayside Scotland (Go-DARTS) type 2 diabetes cohort (n=5,631). The KLF15 SNP rs9838915 A allele was associated in a dominant manner with LV mass before (P=0.003) and after (P=0·001) adjustment for age, gender, BMI and hypertension, and with adjusted septal (P <0·0001) and posterior (P=0·004) wall thickness. LVH was present in 35% of patients. Over a median follow up of 5·6 years, there were 22 (7%) first heart failure hospitalizations. The adjusted risk of heart failure hospitalization was 5·5-fold greater in those with LVH and the rs9838915 A allele compared to those without LVH and the GG genotype (HR 5·5 (1·6- 18·6), P=0·006). The association of rs9838915 A allele with LVH was replicated in the GoDARTS cohort. We have identified the KLF15 SNP rs9838915 A allele as a marker of LVH in patients with type 2 diabetes, and replicated these findings in a large independent cohort. Studies are needed to characterize the functional importance of these results, and to determine if the SNP rs9838915 A allele is associated with LVH in other high risk patient cohorts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-178
Number of pages8
Early online date30 Mar 2017
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2017



  • Kruppel like factor 15
  • Left ventricular hypertrophy
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Genetic association study
  • Echocardiogram
  • Heart Failure

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