Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), an autosomal dominant, early-onset form of type-2 diabetes, is caused by mutations in five different genes all leading to defect(s) in the pancreatic beta cell. However, some patients with this form of diabetes do not bear a mutation in any of the known (MODY1-MODY5) loci, a notion prompting the search for new MODY genes. Clinical and genetic data point toward a defect in beta cell function in the majority of patients with MODY, and partners of the glucose-sensing device are reasonable functional candidates. The high-capacity glucose transporter GLUT2 has the ideal kinetic features for performing this task. However, complete GLUT2 deficiency in humans leads to hepato-renal glycogenosis (Fanconi-Bickel syndrome), and heterozygous GLUT2 mutations apparently behave in a recessive manner. Furthermore, in the human beta cell GLUT1 mRNA is predominant when compared to GLUT2 and glucose influx appears to be largely mediated by this low-Km transporter. Thus, we looked for the presence of sequence variants by polymerase chain reaction and single-strand conformation polymorphism (PCR-SSCP) within the GLUT1 gene in 90 Italian pedigrees negative at the search for mutations in glucokinase (MODY2) and hepatocyte nuclear factor-1alpha (MODY3), the two genes responsible for about 60% of MODY cases in Italian children. We found three already described silent mutations and a new single base deletion in position -173 of the 5' regulatory region. The -173de1A variant, which was detected in the heterozygous or homozygous state in 30.8% of MODY patients examined and is located in a Nuclear Factor Y binding sequence, is not associated with hyperglycemia in affected relatives of MODY probands. In conclusion, it appears from these results that the glucose transporter gene GLUT1 is unlikely to play a major role in the etiology of MODY diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The gene SLC2A2 encodes GLUT2, which is found predominantly in pancreas, liver, kidney and intestine. In mice, GLUT2 is the major glucose transporter into pancreatic beta cells, and biallelic Slc2a2 inactivation causes lethal neonatal diabetes. The role of GLUT2 in human beta cells is controversial, and biallelic SLC2A2 mutations cause Fanconi-Bickel syndrome (FBS), with diabetes rarely reported. We investigated the potential role of GLUT2 in the neonatal period by testing whether SLC2A2 mutations can present with neonatal diabetes before the clinical features of FBS appear.
We studied SLC2A2 in patients with transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM; n = 25) or permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus (PNDM; n = 79) in whom we had excluded the common genetic causes of neonatal diabetes, using a combined approach of sequencing and homozygosity mapping.
Of 104 patients, five (5%) were found to have homozygous SLC2A2 mutations, including four novel mutations (S203R, M376R, c.963+1G>A, F114LfsX16). Four out of five patients with SLC2A2 mutations presented with isolated diabetes and later developed features of FBS. Four out of five patients had TNDM (16% of our TNDM cohort of unknown aetiology). One patient with PNDM remains on insulin at 28 months.
SLC2A2 mutations are an autosomal recessive cause of neonatal diabetes that should be considered in consanguineous families or those with TNDM, after excluding common causes, even in the absence of features of FBS. The finding that patients with homozygous SLC2A2 mutations can have neonatal diabetes supports a role for GLUT2 in the human beta cell.
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