Mutations in ATP-sensitive K+ channel genes cause transient neonatal diabetes and permanent diabetes in childhood or adulthood.
Flanagan SE., Patch A-M., Mackay DJG., Edghill EL., Gloyn AL., Robinson D., Shield JPH., Temple K., Ellard S., Hattersley AT.
Transient neonatal diabetes mellitus (TNDM) is diagnosed in the first 6 months of life, with remission in infancy or early childhood. For approximately 50% of patients, their diabetes will relapse in later life. The majority of cases result from anomalies of the imprinted region on chromosome 6q24, and 14 patients with ATP-sensitive K+ channel (K(ATP) channel) gene mutations have been reported. We determined the 6q24 status in 97 patients with TNDM. In patients in whom no abnormality was identified, the KCNJ11 gene and/or ABCC8 gene, which encode the Kir6.2 and SUR1 subunits of the pancreatic beta-cell K(ATP) channel, were sequenced. K(ATP) channel mutations were found in 25 of 97 (26%) TNDM probands (12 KCNJ11 and 13 ABCC8), while 69 of 97 (71%) had chromosome 6q24 abnormalities. The phenotype associated with KCNJ11 and ABCC8 mutations was similar but markedly different from 6q24 patients who had a lower birth weight and who were diagnosed and remitted earlier (all P < 0.001). K(ATP) channel mutations were identified in 26 additional family members, 17 of whom had diabetes. Of 42 diabetic patients, 91% diagnosed before 6 months remitted, but those diagnosed after 6 months had permanent diabetes (P < 0.0001). K(ATP) channel mutations account for 89% of patients with non-6q24 TNDM and result in a discrete clinical subtype that includes biphasic diabetes that can be treated with sulfonylureas. Remitting neonatal diabetes was observed in two of three mutation carriers, and permanent diabetes occurred after 6 months of age in subjects without an initial diagnosis of neonatal diabetes.