S A Kassem

University of Wales, Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom

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Publications (5)27.48 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) is a congenital overgrowth syndrome that is clinically and genetically heterogeneous. Hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia occurs in about 50% of children with BWS and, in the majority of infants, it resolves spontaneously. However, in a small group of patients the hypoglycemia can be persistent and may require pancreatectomy. The mechanism of persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia in this group of patients is unclear. Using patch-clamp techniques on pancreatic tissue obtained at the time of surgery, we investigated the electrophysiological properties of ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channels in pancreatic beta-cells in a patient with BWS and severe medically-unresponsive hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia. Persistent hyperinsulinism was found to be caused by abnormalities in K(ATP) channels of the pancreatic beta-cell. Immunofluorescence studies using a SUR1 antibody revealed perinuclear pattern of staining in the BWS cells, suggesting a trafficking defect of the SUR1 protein. No mutations were found in the genes ABCC8 and KCNJ11 encoding for the two subunits, SUR1 and KIR6.2, respectively, of the K(ATP) channel. Genetic analysis of this patients BWS showed evidence of mosaic paternal isodisomy. In this novel case of BWS with mosaic paternal uniparental disomy for 11p15, persistent hyperinsulinism was due to abnormalities in K(ATP) channels of the pancreatic beta-cell. The mechanism/s by which mosaic paternal uniparental disomy for 11p15 causes a trafficking defect in the SUR1 protein of the K(ATP) channel remains to be elucidated.
    Journal of Clinical Endocrinology &amp Metabolism 08/2005; 90(7):4376-82. · 6.43 Impact Factor
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    01/2005;
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    ABSTRACT: We report the case of an 8-year-old child who presented with severe hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia due to a pancreatic islet cell adenoma. In vivo, there was no beneficial response to the hyperglycaemia-inducing agent diazoxide and as a consequence the child underwent a subtotal pancreatectomy. In vitro studies of adenomatous beta-cells revealed no operational defects in ATP-sensitive potassium channel activity and appropriate responses to diazoxide. In comparison with patients with focal adenomatous hyperplasia, genetic analysis of the isolated adenoma showed no loss of heterozygosity for chromosome 11p15 and expression of the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor p57(kip2). This case illustrates that the excess insulin secretion from an infantile adenoma has an aetiology different from that observed in hyperinsulinism in infancy.
    Endocrine Related Cancer 01/2003; 9(4):221-6. · 5.26 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most cases of hyperinsulinism of infancy (HI) are caused by mutations in either the sulfonylurea receptor-1 (SUR1) or the inward rectifying K(+) channel Kir6.2, two subunits of the beta-cell ATP-sensitive K(+) channel (K(ATP) channel). Histologically, HI can be divided into two major subtypes. The diffuse form is recessively inherited and involves all beta-cells within the pancreas. Focal HI consists of adenomatous hyperplasia within a limited region of the pancreas, and it is caused by somatic loss of heterozygosity (LOH), including maternal Ch11p15-ter in a beta-cell precursor carrying a germ-line mutation in the paternal allele of SUR1 or Kir6.2. Several imprinted genes are located within this chromosomal region, some of which, including p57(KIP2) and IGF-II, have been associated with the regulation of cell proliferation. Using double immunostaining, we examined p57(KIP2) expression in different islet cell types, in control pancreases from different developmental stages (n = 15), and in pancreases from patients with both diffuse (n = 4) and focal HI (n = 9). Using immunofluorescence and computerized image analysis, we quantified IGF-II expression in beta-cells from patients with focal HI (n = 8). Within the pancreas, p57(KIP2) was specifically localized to the endocrine portion. beta-Cells demonstrated the highest frequency of expression (34.9 +/- 2.7%) compared with approximately 1-3% in other cell types. The fraction of beta-cells expressing p57(KIP2) did not vary significantly during development. beta-Cells within the focal lesions did not express p57(KIP2), whereas IGF-II staining inside focal lesions was mildly increased compared with unaffected surrounding tissue. In conclusion, we demonstrate that p57(KIP2) is expressed and is paternally imprinted in human pancreatic beta-cells. Loss of expression in focal HI is caused by LOH and is associated with increased proliferation and increased IGF-II expression. Manipulation of p57(KIP2) expression in beta-cells may provide a mechanism by which proliferation can be modulated, and thus this gene is a potential therapeutic target for reversing the beta-cell failure observed in diabetes.
    Diabetes 01/2002; 50(12):2763-9. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hyperinsulinism of infancy (HI), also known as persistent hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia of infancy, is a rare genetic disorder that occurs in approximately 1 of 50,000 live births. Histologically, pancreases from HI patients can be divided into 2 major groups. In the first, diffuse HI, beta-cell distribution is similar to that seen in normal neonatal pancreas, whereas in the second, focal HI, there is a discrete region of beta-cell adenomatous hyperplasia. In most patients, the clinical course of the disease suggests a slow progressive loss of beta-cell function. Using double immunostaining, we examined the proportion of beta-cells undergoing proliferation and apoptosis during the development of the normal human pancreas and in pancreases from diffuse and focal HI patients. In the control samples, our findings show a progressive decrease in beta-cell proliferation from 3.2 +/- 0.5% between 17 and 32 weeks of gestation to 0.13 +/- 0.08% after 6 months of age. In contrast, frequency of apoptosis is low (0.6 +/- 0.2%) in weeks 17-32 of gestation, elevated (1.3 +/- 0.3% ) during the perinatal period, and again low (0.08 +/- 0.3%) after 6 months of age. HI beta-cells showed an increased frequency of proliferation, with focal lesions showing particularly high levels. Similarly, the proportion of apoptotic cells was increased in HI, although this reached statistical significance only after 3 months of age. In conclusion, we demonstrated that islet remodeling normally seen in the neonatal period may be primarily due to a wave of beta-cell apoptosis that occurs at that time. In HI, our findings of persistently increased beta-cell proliferation and apoptosis provide a possible mechanism to explain the histologic picture seen in diffuse disease. The slow progressive decrease in insulin secretion seen clinically in these patients suggests that the net effect of these phenomena may be loss of beta-cell mass.
    Diabetes 09/2000; 49(8):1325-33. · 7.90 Impact Factor