Thyroid hormone action is an important determinant of energy and glucose metabolism. T4 metabolism is regulated by the deiodinases of which type 2 is expressed in humans in skeletal muscle and brown adipose tissue, where its transcription is stimulated by the beta-3 adrenergic pathway. We performed molecular scanning of the human type 2 deiodinase (DIO2) gene and evaluated a novel variant for associations with obesity and insulin resistance, assessing both the main effect and interaction with the Trp64Arg beta-3--adrenergic receptor (ADRB3) variant. Molecular scanning of DIO2 in 50 obese Caucasians demonstrated a Thr92Ala variant. Association studies in 972 nondiabetic patients, 135 of whom underwent euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamps, showed that subjects with the Thr92Ala variant had lower glucose disposal rate (0.54 plus minus 0.02 mg center dot min(-1) center dot kg(-1) fat-free mass Ala92 homozygotes vs. 0.44 plus minus 0.02 Ala92 heterozygotes vs. 0.42 plus minus 0.04 Thr92 homozygotes, P = 0.0088). Association analysis of the entire group showed significant evidence for a synergistic effect between the Thr92Ala DIO2 and Trp64Arg ADRB3 variants on BMI (both variants 34.3 plus minus 0.9 kg/m(2) vs. neither variant 33.1 plus minus 0.4 kg/m(2), P = 0.04 for interaction). To our knowledge, Thr92Ala is the first description of a missense mutation of DIO2. This variant strongly associates with insulin resistance and, in subjects with the Trp64Arg ADRB3 variant, an increased BMI, suggesting an interaction between these two common gene variants.