Open Access Research article

Polymorphisms in the Mn-SOD and EC-SOD Genes and Their Relationship to Diabetic Neuropathy in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Dimitry A Chistyakov1*, Kirill V Savost'anov2, Elena V Zotova2 and Valery V Nosikov2

Author Affiliations

1 INSERM U36 – College de France, 75231 Paris Cedex 05, France

2 Department of Molecular Diagnostics, National Research Center GosNIIgenetika, Moscow 113545, Russia

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BMC Medical Genetics 2001, 2:4  doi:10.1186/1471-2350-2-4

Published: 28 March 2001



Oxidative stress, resulting in a marked increase in the level of oxygen free radicals (OFR), has been implicated in the etiology of diabetic neuropathy (DN). Antioxidant enzymes may protect against the rapid onset and progression of DN, by reducing the excess of OFR and peroxide. Mutations and polymorphisms in the genes encoding such enzymes may therefore result in predisposition to DN. We investigated the role of genes encoding two antioxidant enzymes, mitochondrial (Mn-SOD) and extracellular (EC-SOD) superoxide dismutase, in DN pathogenesis in a Russian population. We studied Ala(-9)Val and Ile58Thr polymorphisms of the Mn-SOD gene and Arg213Gly dimorphism of the EC-SOD gene in type 1 diabetic patients with (n = 82) and without DN (n = 84).


We developed and used a new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays for rapid detection of polymorphisms. These assays involved the use of mismatch PCR primers to create restriction sites in the amplified product only in presence of the polymorphic base. The PCR product was than digested with BshTI, Eco32I or Eco52I to detect Ala(-9)Val, Ile58Thr or Arg213Gly polymorphic site respectively. The frequencies of the Ala allele (50.6% vs. 68.5%, p < 0.002) and the Ala/Ala genotype (17.1% vs. 39.3%, p < 0.005) of the Mn-SOD gene were significantly lower in DN patients than in diabetic subjects without DN. In contrast, the Val allele (49.4% vs. 31.5%, p < 0.002) and the Val/Val genotype (15.9% vs. 2.4%, p < 0.01) were significantly more frequent in the DN patients than in the control group.


Ala(-9)Val substitution in the Mn-SOD gene was associated with DN in a Russian population