Association between protein signals and type 2 diabetes incidence.
Understanding early determinants of type 2 diabetes is essential for refining disease prevention strategies. Proteomic technology may provide a useful approach to identify novel protein patterns potentially related to pathophysiological changes that lead up to diabetes. In this study, we sought to identify protein signals that are associated with diabetes incidence in a middle-aged population. Serum samples from 519 participants in a nested case-control selection (167 cases and 352 age-, sex- and BMI-matched normoglycemic control subjects, median follow-up 14.0 years) within the Whitehall-II cohort were analyzed by linear matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF-MS). Nine protein peaks were found to be associated with incident diabetes. Rate ratios for high peak intensity ranged between 0.4 (95% CI, 0.2-0.8) and 4.0 (95% CI, 1.7-9.2) and were robust to adjustment for main potential confounders, including obesity, lipids and C-reactive protein. The proteins associated with these peaks may reflect diabetes pathogenesis. Our study exemplifies the utility of an approach that combines proteomic and epidemiological data.