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A microsatellite polymorphism in IGF1 gene promoter and longevity in a Han Chinese population

Liang Xie123, Yuan-ying Gong13, Shi-gang Lian4, Juan Yang4, Shou-jun Gao5, Liang-you Xu5 and Ya-ping Zhang12*

Author Affiliations

1 State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Kunming 650223, China

2 Laboratory for Conservation and Utilization of Bio-resource, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China

3 Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China

4 People's Hospital of Dujiangyan City, Dujiangyan 611830, China

5 Dujiangyan Longevity Research Centre, Dujiangyan 611830, China

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BMC Research Notes 2010, 3:55  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-3-55

Published: 3 March 2010



Previous studies have suggested a probable association between the polymorphism of a microsatellite locus located in the promoter of IGF1 (Insulin-like growth factor 1) gene and the serum level of IGF1, as well as many age-related diseases. Based on these results, we hypothesized that this polymorphism may influence longevity in humans. We performed an association study in a Han Chinese population to test this hypothesis.


We recruited 493 elderly Han Chinese individuals (females ≥ 94; males ≥ 90) and 425 young individuals (controls) from Dujiangyan (Sichuan province, China). The genotype distributions and allele frequencies of the microsatellite site in the elderly and control groups were compared by chi square test.

Our results suggested that there was no association between the microsatellite polymorphism and longevity in our Han Chinese population. However, there were more male persons with 18/21 genotype in elderly group than that in control group (11.11 vs. 5.45%, p = 0.011). As the difference was not significant when corrected by Bonferroni method, we speculate that the 18/21 genotype can not be functional in longevity; however, it may link with the real functional loci as there is a long haplotype block embracing the microsatellite locus.


There was no association between polymorphism of the microsatellite in promoter of IGF1 gene and longevity in our study. Future association studies containing the long haplotype block are deserved and can test our speculation of the potential linkage of 18/21 genotype and functional loci.