[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in glucokinase (GCK) cause a spectrum of glycemic disorders. Heterozygous loss-of-function mutations cause mild fasting hyperglycemia irrespective of mutation severity due to compensation from the unaffected allele. Conversely, homozygous loss-of-function mutations cause permanent neonatal diabetes requiring lifelong insulin treatment. This study aimed to determine the relationship between in vitro mutation severity and clinical phenotype in a large international case series of patients with homozygous GCK mutations. Clinical characteristics for 30 patients with diabetes due to homozygous GCK mutations (19 unique mutations, including 16 missense) were compiled and assigned a clinical severity grade (CSG) based on birth weight and age-at-diagnosis. The majority (28/30) of subjects were diagnosed before 9 months, with the remaining two at 9 and 15 years. These are the first two cases of a homozygous GCK mutation diagnosed outside infancy. Recombinant mutant GCK proteins were analyzed for kinetic and thermostability characteristics and assigned a relative activity index (RAI) or relative stability index (RSI) value. Six of 16 missense mutations exhibited severe kinetic defects (RAI≤0.01). There was no correlation between CSG and RAI (r(2)=0.05, p=0.39), indicating that kinetics alone did not explain the phenotype. Eighty percent of the remaining mutations showed reduced thermostability, the exceptions being the two later-onset mutations which exhibited increased thermostability. Comparison of CSG with RSI detected a highly significant correlation (r(2)=0.74, p=0.002). We report the largest case series of homozygous GCK mutations to date and demonstrate that they can cause childhood-onset diabetes, with protein instability being the major determinant of mutation severity.
Human Molecular Genetics 07/2014; · 6.68 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Loss-of-function mutations protective against human disease provide in vivo validation of therapeutic targets, but none have yet been described for type 2 diabetes (T2D). Through sequencing or genotyping of ~150,000 individuals across 5 ancestry groups, we identified 12 rare protein-truncating variants in SLC30A8, which encodes an islet zinc transporter (ZnT8) and harbors a common variant (p.Trp325Arg) associated with T2D risk and glucose and proinsulin levels. Collectively, carriers of protein-truncating variants had 65% reduced T2D risk (P = 1.7 × 10−6), and non-diabetic Icelandic carriers of a frameshift variant (p.Lys34Serfs*50) demonstrated reduced glucose levels (−0.17 s.d., P = 4.6 × 10−4). The two most common protein-truncating variants (p.Arg138* and p.Lys34Serfs*50) individually associate with T2D protection and encode unstable ZnT8 proteins. Previous functional study of SLC30A8 suggested that reduced zinc transport increases T2D risk, and phenotypic heterogeneity was observed in mouse Slc30a8 knockouts. In contrast, loss-of-function mutations in humans provide strong evidence that SLC30A8 haploinsufficiency protects against T2D, suggesting ZnT8 inhibition as a therapeutic strategy in T2D prevention.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Autoimmune thyroid diseases (AITD) are common, affecting 2-5% of the general population. Individuals with positive thyroid peroxidase antibodies (TPOAbs) have an increased risk of autoimmune hypothyroidism (Hashimoto's thyroiditis), as well as autoimmune hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease). As the possible causative genes of TPOAbs and AITD remain largely unknown, we performed GWAS meta-analyses in 18,297 individuals for TPOAb-positivity (1769 TPOAb-positives and 16,528 TPOAb-negatives) and in 12,353 individuals for TPOAb serum levels, with replication in 8,990 individuals. Significant associations (P<5×10(-8)) were detected at TPO-rs11675434, ATXN2-rs653178, and BACH2-rs10944479 for TPOAb-positivity, and at TPO-rs11675434, MAGI3-rs1230666, and KALRN-rs2010099 for TPOAb levels. Individual and combined effects (genetic risk scores) of these variants on (subclinical) hypo- and hyperthyroidism, goiter and thyroid cancer were studied. Individuals with a high genetic risk score had, besides an increased risk of TPOAb-positivity (OR: 2.18, 95% CI 1.68-2.81, P = 8.1×10(-8)), a higher risk of increased thyroid-stimulating hormone levels (OR: 1.51, 95% CI 1.26-1.82, P = 2.9×10(-6)), as well as a decreased risk of goiter (OR: 0.77, 95% CI 0.66-0.89, P = 6.5×10(-4)). The MAGI3 and BACH2 variants were associated with an increased risk of hyperthyroidism, which was replicated in an independent cohort of patients with Graves' disease (OR: 1.37, 95% CI 1.22-1.54, P = 1.2×10(-7) and OR: 1.25, 95% CI 1.12-1.39, P = 6.2×10(-5)). The MAGI3 variant was also associated with an increased risk of hypothyroidism (OR: 1.57, 95% CI 1.18-2.10, P = 1.9×10(-3)). This first GWAS meta-analysis for TPOAbs identified five newly associated loci, three of which were also associated with clinical thyroid disease. With these markers we identified a large subgroup in the general population with a substantially increased risk of TPOAbs. The results provide insight into why individuals with thyroid autoimmunity do or do not eventually develop thyroid disease, and these markers may therefore predict which TPOAb-positives are particularly at risk of developing clinical thyroid dysfunction.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes affects over 300 million people, causing severe complications and premature death, yet the underlying molecular mechanisms are largely unknown. Pancreatic islet dysfunction is central in type 2 diabetes pathogenesis, and understanding islet genome regulation could therefore provide valuable mechanistic insights. We have now mapped and examined the function of human islet cis-regulatory networks. We identify genomic sequences that are targeted by islet transcription factors to drive islet-specific gene activity and show that most such sequences reside in clusters of enhancers that form physical three-dimensional chromatin domains. We find that sequence variants associated with type 2 diabetes and fasting glycemia are enriched in these clustered islet enhancers and identify trait-associated variants that disrupt DNA binding and islet enhancer activity. Our studies illustrate how islet transcription factors interact functionally with the epigenome and provide systematic evidence that the dysregulation of islet enhancers is relevant to the mechanisms underlying type 2 diabetes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pancreatic β cells adapt to compensate for increased metabolic demand during insulin resistance. Although the microRNA pathway has an essential role in β cell proliferation, the extent of its contribution is unclear. Here, we report that miR-184 is silenced in the pancreatic islets of insulin-resistant mouse models and type 2 diabetic human subjects. Reduction of miR-184 promotes the expression of its target Argonaute2 (Ago2), a component of the microRNA-induced silencing complex. Moreover, restoration of miR-184 in leptin-deficient ob/ob mice decreased Ago2 and prevented compensatory β cell expansion. Loss of Ago2 during insulin resistance blocked β cell growth and relieved the regulation of miR-375-targeted genes, including the growth suppressor Cadm1. Lastly, administration of a ketogenic diet to ob/ob mice rescued insulin sensitivity and miR-184 expression and restored Ago2 and β cell mass. This study identifies the targeting of Ago2 by miR-184 as an essential component of the compensatory response to regulate proliferation according to insulin sensitivity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several lines of evidence suggest that genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have the potential to explain more of the "missing heritability" of common complex phenotypes. However, reliable methods for identifying a larger proportion of SNPs are currently lacking. Here, we present a genetic-pleiotropy-informed method for improving gene discovery with the use of GWAS summary-statistics data. We applied this methodology to identify additional loci associated with schizophrenia (SCZ), a highly heritable disorder with significant missing heritability. Epidemiological and clinical studies suggest comorbidity between SCZ and cardiovascular-disease (CVD) risk factors, including systolic blood pressure, triglycerides, low- and high-density lipoprotein, body mass index, waist-to-hip ratio, and type 2 diabetes. Using stratified quantile-quantile plots, we show enrichment of SNPs associated with SCZ as a function of the association with several CVD risk factors and a corresponding reduction in false discovery rate (FDR). We validate this "pleiotropic enrichment" by demonstrating increased replication rate across independent SCZ substudies. Applying the stratified FDR method, we identified 25 loci associated with SCZ at a conditional FDR level of 0.01. Of these, ten loci are associated with both SCZ and CVD risk factors, mainly triglycerides and low- and high-density lipoproteins but also waist-to-hip ratio, systolic blood pressure, and body mass index. Together, these findings suggest the feasibility of using genetic-pleiotropy-informed methods for improving gene discovery in SCZ and identifying potential mechanistic relationships with various CVD risk factors.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 01/2013; · 11.20 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent advances in the understanding of the genetics of type 2 diabetes (T2D) susceptibility have focused attention on the regulation of transcriptional activity within the pancreatic beta-cell. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) represent an important component of regulatory control, and have proven roles in the development of human disease and control of glucose homeostasis. We set out to establish the miRNA profile of human pancreatic islets and of enriched beta-cell populations, and to explore their potential involvement in T2D susceptibility. We used Illumina small RNA sequencing to profile the miRNA fraction in three preparations each of primary human islets and of enriched beta-cells generated by fluorescence-activated cell sorting. In total, 366 miRNAs were found to be expressed (i.e. >100 cumulative reads) in islets and 346 in beta-cells; of the total of 384 unique miRNAs, 328 were shared. A comparison of the islet-cell miRNA profile with those of 15 other human tissues identified 40 miRNAs predominantly expressed (i.e. >50% of all reads seen across the tissues) in islets. Several highly-expressed islet miRNAs, such as miR-375, have established roles in the regulation of islet function, but others (e.g. miR-27b-3p, miR-192-5p) have not previously been described in the context of islet biology. As a first step towards exploring the role of islet-expressed miRNAs and their predicted mRNA targets in T2D pathogenesis, we looked at published T2D association signals across these sites. We found evidence that predicted mRNA targets of islet-expressed miRNAs were globally enriched for signals of T2D association (p-values <0.01, q-values <0.1). At six loci with genome-wide evidence for T2D association (AP3S2, KCNK16, NOTCH2, SCL30A8, VPS26A, and WFS1) predicted mRNA target sites for islet-expressed miRNAs overlapped potentially causal variants. In conclusion, we have described the miRNA profile of human islets and beta-cells and provide evidence linking islet miRNAs to T2D pathogenesis.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(1):e55272. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A significant portion of the genome is transcribed as long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), several of which are known to control gene expression. The repertoire and regulation of lncRNAs in disease-relevant tissues, however, has not been systematically explored. We report a comprehensive strand-specific transcriptome map of human pancreatic islets and β cells, and uncover >1100 intergenic and antisense islet-cell lncRNA genes. We find islet lncRNAs that are dynamically regulated and show that they are an integral component of the β cell differentiation and maturation program. We sequenced the mouse islet transcriptome and identify lncRNA orthologs that are regulated like their human counterparts. Depletion of HI-LNC25, a β cell-specific lncRNA, downregulated GLIS3 mRNA, thus exemplifying a gene regulatory function of islet lncRNAs. Finally, selected islet lncRNAs were dysregulated in type 2 diabetes or mapped to genetic loci underlying diabetes susceptibility. These findings reveal a new class of islet-cell genes relevant to β cell programming and diabetes pathophysiology.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epidemiologic and genetic evidence links type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer. The tumor-suppressor phosphatase and tensin homologue (PTEN) has roles in both cellular growth and metabolic signaling. Germline PTEN mutations cause a cancer-predisposition syndrome, providing an opportunity to study the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency in humans.
We measured insulin sensitivity and beta-cell function in 15 PTEN mutation carriers and 15 matched controls. Insulin signaling was measured in muscle and adipose-tissue biopsy specimens from 5 mutation carriers and 5 well-matched controls. We also assessed the effect of PTEN haploinsufficiency on obesity by comparing anthropometric indexes between the 15 patients and 2097 controls from a population-based study of healthy adults. Body composition was evaluated by means of dual-emission x-ray absorptiometry and skinfold thickness.
Measures of insulin resistance were lower in the patients with a PTEN mutation than in controls (e.g., mean fasting plasma insulin level, 29 pmol per liter [range, 9 to 99] vs. 74 pmol per liter [range, 22 to 185]; P=0.001). This finding was confirmed with the use of hyperinsulinemic euglycemic clamping, showing a glucose infusion rate among carriers 2 times that among controls (P=0.009). The patients' insulin sensitivity could be explained by the presence of enhanced insulin signaling through the PI3K-AKT pathway, as evidenced by increased AKT phosphorylation. The PTEN mutation carriers were obese as compared with population-based controls (mean body-mass index [the weight in kilograms divided by the square of the height in meters], 32 [range, 23 to 42] vs. 26 [range, 15 to 48]; P<0.001). This increased body mass in the patients was due to augmented adiposity without corresponding changes in fat distribution.
PTEN haploinsufficiency is a monogenic cause of profound constitutive insulin sensitization that is apparently obesogenic. We demonstrate an apparently divergent effect of PTEN mutations: increased risks of obesity and cancer but a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes owing to enhanced insulin sensitivity. (Funded by the Wellcome Trust and others.).
New England Journal of Medicine 09/2012; 367(11):1002-11. · 54.42 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Somatostatin-14 (SST) inhibits insulin and glucagon secretion by activating G-protein coupled somatostatin receptors (SSTRs), of which 5 isoforms exist (SSTR1-5). In mice, the effects on pancreatic β-cells are mediated by SSTR5, whereas α-cells express SSTR2. In both cell types, SSTR activation results in membrane hyperpolarisation and suppression of exocytosis. Here we examined the mechanisms by which SST inhibits secretion from human β- and α-cells, and the SSTR isoforms mediating these effects. Quantitative PCR revealed high expression of SSTR2, with lower levels of SSTR1, SSTR3 and SSTR5, in human islets. Immunohistochemistry showed expression of SSTR2 in both β- and α-cells. SST application hyperpolarized human β-cells and inhibited action potential firing. The membrane hyperpolarization was unaffected by tolbutamide but antagonized by tertiapin-Q, a blocker of G-protein gated inwardly-rectifying K(+)-channels (GIRK). The effect of SST was mimicked by an SSTR2-selective agonist while a SSTR5 agonist was marginally effective. SST strongly (>70%) reduced depolarization-evoked exocytosis in both β- and α-cells. A slightly weaker inhibition was observed in both cell types after SSTR2 activation. SSTR3- and SSTR1-selective agonists moderately reduced the exocytotic responses in β- and α-cells, respectively, whereas SSTR4- and SSTR5-specific agonists were ineffective. SST also reduced voltage-gated P/Q-type Ca(2+)-currents in β-cells, but normalization of Ca(2+) influx to control levels by prolonged depolarizations only partially restored exocytosis. We conclude that SST inhibits secretion from both human β- and α-cells by activating GIRK and suppressing electrical activity, reducing P/Q-type Ca(2+)-currents and directly inhibiting exocytosis. These effects are predominantly mediated by SSTR2 in both cell types.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 08/2012; · 4.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Finding novel causes for monogenic forms of diabetes is important as, alongside the clinical implications of such a discovery, it can identify critical proteins and pathways required for normal beta cell function in humans. It is increasingly apparent that there are significant differences between rodent and human islets. One example that has generated interest is the relative importance of the glucose transporter GLUT2 in rodent and human beta cells. The central role of GLUT2 in rodent beta cells is well established, but a number of studies have suggested that other glucose transporters, namely GLUT1 and GLUT3, may play an important role in facilitating glucose transport into human beta cells. In this issue of Diabetologia Sansbury et al (DOI: 10.1007/s00125-012-2595-0 ) report homozygous loss of function mutations in SLC2A2, which encodes GLUT2, as a rare cause of neonatal diabetes. Evidence for a beta cell defect in these subjects comes from very low birthweights, lack of endogenous insulin secretion and a requirement for insulin therapy. Neonatal diabetes is not a consistent feature of SLC2A2 mutations. It is only found in a small percentage of cases (~4%) and the diabetes largely resolves before 18 months of age. This discovery is significant as it suggests that GLUT2 plays an important role in human beta cells, but the interplay and relative roles of other transporters differ from those in rodents. This finding should encourage efforts to delineate the precise role of GLUT2 in the human beta cell at different developmental time points and is a further reminder of critical differences between human and rodent islets.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To demonstrate the importance of using a combined genetic and functional approach to correctly interpret a genetic test for monogenic diabetes.
We identified three probands with a phenotype consistent with maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) subtype GCK-MODY, in whom two potential pathogenic mutations were identified: [R43H/G68D], [E248 K/I225M], or [G261R/D217N]. Allele-specific PCR and cosegregation were used to determine phase. Single and double mutations were kinetically characterized.
The mutations occurred in cis (double mutants) in two probands and in trans in one proband. Functional studies of all double mutants revealed inactivating kinetics. The previously reported GCK-MODY mutations R43H and G68D were inherited from an affected father and unaffected mother, respectively. Both our functional and genetic studies support R43H as the cause of GCK-MODY and G68D as a neutral rare variant.
These data highlight the need for family/functional studies, even for previously reported pathogenic mutations.
Diabetes care 05/2012; 35(7):1482-4. · 7.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Small RNAs are functional molecules that modulate mRNA transcripts and have been implicated in the aetiology of several common diseases. However, little is known about the extent of their variability within the human population. Here, we characterise the extent, causes, and effects of naturally occurring variation in expression and sequence of small RNAs from adipose tissue in relation to genotype, gene expression, and metabolic traits in the MuTHER reference cohort. We profiled the expression of 15 to 30 base pair RNA molecules in subcutaneous adipose tissue from 131 individuals using high-throughput sequencing, and quantified levels of 591 microRNAs and small nucleolar RNAs. We identified three genetic variants and three RNA editing events. Highly expressed small RNAs are more conserved within mammals than average, as are those with highly variable expression. We identified 14 genetic loci significantly associated with nearby small RNA expression levels, seven of which also regulate an mRNA transcript level in the same region. In addition, these loci are enriched for variants significant in genome-wide association studies for body mass index. Contrary to expectation, we found no evidence for negative correlation between expression level of a microRNA and its target mRNAs. Trunk fat mass, body mass index, and fasting insulin were associated with more than twenty small RNA expression levels each, while fasting glucose had no significant associations. This study highlights the similar genetic complexity and shared genetic control of small RNA and mRNA transcripts, and gives a quantitative picture of small RNA expression variation in the human population.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Heterozygous glucokinase (GCK) mutations cause a subtype of maturity-onset diabetes of the young (GCK-MODY). Over 600 GCK mutations have been reported of which ∼65% are missense. In many cases co-segregation has not been established and despite the importance of functional studies in ascribing pathogenicity for missense variants these have only been performed for <10% of mutations. The aim of this study was to determine the minimum prevalence of GCK-MODY amongst diabetic subjects in Slovakia by sequencing GCK in 100 Slovakian probands with a phenotype consistent with GCK-MODY and to explore the pathogenicity of identified variants through family and functional studies. Twenty-two mutations were identified in 36 families (17 missense) of which 7 (I110N, V200A, N204D, G258R, F419S, c.580-2A>C, c.1113-1114delGC) were novel. Parental DNA was available for 22 probands (covering 14/22 mutations) and co-segregation established in all cases. Bioinformatic analysis predicted all missense mutations to be damaging. Nine (I110N, V200A, N204D, G223S, G258R, F419S, V244G, L315H, I436N) mutations were functionally evaluated. Basic kinetic analysis explained pathogenicity for 7 mutants which showed reduced glucokinase activity with relative activity indices (RAI) between 0.6 to <0.001 compared to wild-type GCK (1.0). For the remaining 2 mutants additional molecular mechanisms were investigated. Differences in glucokinase regulatory protein (GKRP) -mediated-inhibition of GCK were observed for both L315H & I436N when compared to wild type (IC(50) 14.6±0.1 mM & 20.3±1.6 mM vs.13.3±0.1 mM respectively [p<0.03]). Protein instability as assessed by thermal lability studies demonstrated that both L315H and I436N show marked thermal instability compared to wild-type GCK (RAI at 55°C 8.8±0.8% & 3.1±0.4% vs. 42.5±3.9% respectively [p<0.001]). The minimum prevalence of GCK-MODY amongst Slovakian patients with diabetes was 0.03%. In conclusion, we have identified 22 GCK mutations in 36 Slovakian probands and demonstrate that combining family, bioinformatic and functional studies can aid the interpretation of variants identified by molecular diagnostic screening.
PLoS ONE 04/2012; 7(4):e34541. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SLC2A2 encoding glucose transporter -2 (GLUT2) acts as the primary glucose transporter and sensor in rodent pancreatic islets and is widely assumed to play a similar role in humans. In healthy adults SLC2A2 variants are associated with elevated fasting plasma glucose (fpg) concentrations but physiological characterisation does not support a defect in pancreatic beta-cell function. Interspecies differences can create barriers for the follow up of disease association signals. We hypothesised that GLUT2 is not the principal glucose transporter in human beta-cells and that SLC2A2 variants exert their effect on fpg levels through defects in other tissues. SLC2A1-4 (GLUT 1-4) mRNA expression levels were determined in human and mouse islets, beta-cells, liver, muscle and adipose tissue by qRT-PCR whilst GLUT1-3 protein levels were examined by immunohistochemistry. The presence of all three glucose transporters was demonstrated in human and mouse islets and purified beta-cells. Quantitative expression profiling demonstrated that Slc2a2 is the predominant glucose transporter (expression >10 fold higher that Slc2a1) in mouse islets whilst SLC2A1 and SLC2A3 predominate in both human islets and beta-cells (expression 2.8 and 2.7 fold higher than SLC2A2 respectively). Our data therefore suggest that GLUT2 is unlikely to be the principal glucose transporter in human beta-cells and that SLC2A2 defects in other metabolic tissues drive the observed differences in glucose levels between carriers of SLC2A2 variants. Direct extrapolation from rodent to human islet glucose transporter activity is unlikely to be appropriate.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 08/2011; 104(4):648-53. · 2.83 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is a global problem, and current ineffective therapeutic strategies pave the way for novel treatments like
small molecular activators targeting glucokinase (GCK). GCK activity is fundamental to beta-cell and hepatocyte glucose metabolism,
and heterozygous activating and inactivating GCK mutations cause hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia (HH) and maturity-onset diabetes
of the young (MODY) respectively. Over 600 naturally occurring inactivating mutations have been reported, whilst only 13
activating mutations are documented to date. We report two novel GCK HH mutations (V389L and T103S) at residues where MODY
mutations also occur (V389D and T103I). Using recombinant proteins with in vitro assays we demonstrated that both HH mutants
had a greater relative activity index (RAI) than wild type (6.0 for V389L, 8.4 for T103S, 1.0 for wild-type). This was driven
by an increased affinity for glucose (S0.53.3±0.1 and 3.5±0.1mM respectively) versus wild-type (7.5±0.1mM). Correspondingly,
the V389D and T103I MODY-mutants had markedly reduced RAIs (<0.1). T103I had an altered affinity for glucose (S0.524.9±0.6mM),
whilst V389D also exhibited a reduced affinity for ATP and decreased catalysis rate (S0.578.6±4.5mM, ATPKm1.5±0.1mM, Kcat10.3±1.1s-1
compared to wild-type ATPKm0.4±<0.1 and Kcat62.9±1.2). Both T103-mutants showed reduced inhibition by the endogenous hepatic
inhibitor glucokinase regulatory protein. Molecular modelling demonstrated that T103 maps to the allosteric activator site,
whilst V389 is located remote to this position and all other previously reported activating mutations; highlighting alpha-helix
11 as a novel region regulating GCK activity. Our data suggest that pharmacological manipulation of GCK activity at locations
distal from the allosteric activator site is possible.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2011; · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes is a global problem, and current ineffective therapeutic strategies pave the way for novel treatments like small molecular activators targeting glucokinase (GCK). GCK activity is fundamental to beta cell and hepatocyte glucose metabolism, and heterozygous activating and inactivating GCK mutations cause hyperinsulinemic hypoglycemia (HH) and maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) respectively. Over 600 naturally occurring inactivating mutations have been reported, whereas only 13 activating mutations are documented to date. We report two novel GCK HH mutations (V389L and T103S) at residues where MODY mutations also occur (V389D and T103I). Using recombinant proteins with in vitro assays, we demonstrated that both HH mutants had a greater relative activity index than wild type (6.0 for V389L, 8.4 for T103S, and 1.0 for wild type). This was driven by an increased affinity for glucose (S(0.5), 3.3 ± 0.1 and 3.5 ± 0.1 mm, respectively) versus wild type (7.5 ± 0.1 mm). Correspondingly, the V389D and T103I MODY mutants had markedly reduced relative activity indexes (<0.1). T103I had an altered affinity for glucose (S(0.5), 24.9 ± 0.6 mm), whereas V389D also exhibited a reduced affinity for ATP and decreased catalysis rate (S(0.5), 78.6 ± 4.5 mm; ATP(K(m)), 1.5 ± 0.1 mm; K(cat), 10.3 ± 1.1s(-1)) compared with wild type (ATP(K(m)), 0.4 ± <0.1; K(cat), 62.9 ± 1.2). Both Thr-103 mutants showed reduced inhibition by the endogenous hepatic inhibitor glucokinase regulatory protein. Molecular modeling demonstrated that Thr-103 maps to the allosteric activator site, whereas Val-389 is located remotely to this position and all other previously reported activating mutations, highlighting α-helix 11 as a novel region regulating GCK activity. Our data suggest that pharmacological manipulation of GCK activity at locations distal from the allosteric activator site is possible.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2011; 286(21):19118-26. · 4.60 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Over the past 3 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of confirmed type 2 diabetes (T2D) susceptibility loci, most arising through the implementation of genome-wide association studies (GWAS). However, progress toward the understanding of disease mechanisms has been slowed by modest effect sizes and the fact that most GWAS signals map away from coding sequence: the presumption is that their effects are mediated through regulation of nearby transcripts, but the identities of the genes concerned are often far from clear. In this review we describe the progress that has been made to date in translating association signals into molecular mechanisms with a focus on the most tractable signals (eg, KCNJ11/ABCC8, SLC30A8, GCKR) and those in which human, animal, and cellular models (FTO, TCF7L2, G6PC2) have provided insights into the role in T2D pathogenesis. Finally, the challenges for the field with the advent of genome-scale next-generation resequencing efforts are discussed.
Current Diabetes Reports 09/2010; 10(6):452-66. · 3.38 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Inactivating mutations in glucokinase (GCK) cause mild fasting hyperglycemia. Identification of a GCK mutation has implications for treatment and prognosis; therefore, it is important to identify these individuals. A significant number of patients have a phenotype suggesting a defect in glucokinase but no abnormality of GCK. We hypothesized that the GCK beta-cell promoter region, which currently is not routinely screened, could contain pathogenic mutations; therefore, we sequenced this region in 60 such probands.
The beta-cell GCK promoter was sequenced in patient DNA. The effect of the identified novel mutation on GCK promoter activity was assessed using a luciferase reporter gene expression system. Electrophoretic mobility shift assays (EMSAs) were used to determine the impact of the mutation on Sp1 binding.
A novel -71G>C mutation was identified in a nonconserved region of the human promoter sequence in six apparently unrelated probands. Family testing established cosegregation with fasting hyperglycemia (> or = 5.5 mmol/l) in 39 affected individuals. Haplotype analysis in the U.K. family and four of the Slovakian families demonstrated that the mutation had arisen independently. The mutation maps to a potential transcriptional activator binding site for Sp1. Reporter assays demonstrated that the mutation reduces promoter activity by up to fourfold. EMSAs demonstrated a dramatic reduction in Sp1 binding to the promoter sequence corresponding to the mutant allele.
A novel beta-cell GCK promoter mutation was identified that significantly reduces gene expression in vitro through loss of regulation by Sp1. To ensure correct diagnosis of potential GCK-MODY (maturity-onset diabetes of the young) cases, analysis of the beta-cell GCK promoter should be included.