Mutations in PTF1A cause pancreatic and cerebellar agenesis.
Sellick GS., Barker KT., Stolte-Dijkstra I., Fleischmann C., Coleman RJ., Garrett C., Gloyn AL., Edghill EL., Hattersley AT., Wellauer PK., Goodwin G., Houlston RS.
Individuals with permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus usually present within the first three months of life and require insulin treatment. We recently identified a locus on chromosome 10p13-p12.1 involved in permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus associated with pancreatic and cerebellar agenesis in a genome-wide linkage search of a consanguineous Pakistani family. Here we report the further linkage analysis of this family and a second family of Northern European descent segregating an identical phenotype. Positional cloning identified the mutations 705insG and C886T in the gene PTF1A, encoding pancreas transcription factor 1alpha, as disease-causing sequence changes. Both mutations cause truncation of the expressed PTF1A protein C-terminal to the basic-helix-loop-helix domain. Reporter-gene studies using a minimal PTF1A deletion mutant indicate that the deleted region defines a new domain that is crucial for the function of this protein. PTF1A is known to have a role in mammalian pancreatic development, and the clinical phenotype of the affected individuals implicated the protein as a key regulator of cerebellar neurogenesis. The essential role of PTF1A in normal cerebellar development was confirmed by detailed neuropathological analysis of Ptf1a(-/-) mice.