Mutations in ATP-sensitive K+ channel genes cause transient neonatal diabetes and permanent diabetes in childhood or adulthood.
Flanagan SE., Patch AM., Mackay DJ., Edghill EL., Gloyn AL., Robinson D., Shield JP., 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.