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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biochemistry - Diabetes and Endocrinology

Glucokinase (GCK) Mutations and Their Characterization in MODY2 Children of Southern Italy
Published: Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Author: Marina Capuano et al.

by Marina Capuano, Carmen Maria Garcia-Herrero, Nadia Tinto, Carla Carluccio, Valentina Capobianco, Iolanda Coto, Arturo Cola, Dario Iafusco, Adriana Franzese, Adriana Zagari, Maria Angeles Navas, Lucia Sacchetti

Type 2 Maturity Onset Diabetes of the Young (MODY2) is a monogenic autosomal disease characterized by a primary defect in insulin secretion and hyperglycemia. It results from GCK gene mutations that impair enzyme activity. Between 2006 and 2010, we investigated GCK mutations in 66 diabetic children from southern Italy with suspected MODY2. Denaturing High Performance Liquid Chromatography (DHPLC) and sequence analysis revealed 19 GCK mutations in 28 children, six of which were novel: p.Glu40Asp, p.Val154Leu, p.Arg447Glyfs, p.Lys458_Cys461del, p.Glu395_Arg397del and c.580-2A>T. We evaluated the effect of these 19 mutations using bioinformatic tools such as Polymorphism Phenotyping (Polyphen), Sorting Intolerant From Tolerant (SIFT) and in silico modelling. We also conducted a functional study to evaluate the pathogenic significance of seven mutations that are among the most severe mutations found in our population, and have never been characterized: p.Glu70Asp, p.His137Asp, p.Phe150Tyr, p.Val154Leu, p.Gly162Asp, p.Arg303Trp and p.Arg392Ser. These seven mutations, by altering one or more kinetic parameters, reduced enzyme catalytic activity by >40%. All mutations except p.Glu70Asp displayed thermal-instability, indeed >50% of enzyme activity was lost at 50°C/30 min. Thus, these seven mutations play a pathogenic role in MODY2 insurgence. In conclusion, this report revealed six novel GCK mutations and sheds some light on the structure-function relationship of human GCK mutations and MODY2.
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