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Channels (Austin). 2012 Mar-Apr;6(2):133-8. doi: 10.4161/chan.19980. Epub 2012 Mar 1.

Compound heterozygous mutations in the SUR1 (ABCC 8) subunit of pancreatic K(ATP) channels cause neonatal diabetes by perturbing the coupling between Kir6.2 and SUR1 subunits.

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Department of Cell Biology and Physiology and Center for the Investigation of Membrane Excitability Diseases, Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, MO, USA.


KATP channels regulate insulin secretion by coupling β-cell metabolism to membrane excitability. These channels are comprised of a pore-forming Kir6.2 tetramer which is enveloped by four regulatory SUR1 subunits. ATP acts on Kir6.2 to stabilize the channel closed state while ADP (coordinated with Mg(2+)) activates channels via the SUR1 domains. Aberrations in nucleotide-binding or in coupling binding to gating can lead to hyperinsulinism or diabetes. Here, we report a case of diabetes in a 7-mo old child with compound heterozygous mutations in ABCC8 (SUR1[A30V] and SUR1[G296R]). In unison, these mutations lead to a gain of KATP channel function, which will attenuate the β-cell response to increased metabolism and will thereby decrease insulin secretion. (86)Rb(+) flux assays on COSm6 cells coexpressing the mutant subunits (to recapitulate the compound heterozygous state) show a 2-fold increase in basal rate of (86)Rb(+) efflux relative to WT channels. Experiments on excised inside-out patches also reveal a slight increase in activity, manifested as an enhancement in stimulation by MgADP in channels expressing the compound heterozygous mutations or homozygous G296R mutation. In addition, the IC 50 for ATP inhibition of homomeric A30V channels was increased ~6-fold, and was increased ~3-fold for both heteromeric A30V+WT channels or compound heterozygous (A30V +G296R) channels. Thus, each mutation makes a mechanistically distinct contribution to the channel gain-of-function that results in neonatal diabetes, and which we predict may contribute to diabetes in related carrier individuals.

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