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Horm Res Paediatr. 2013;79(4):220-6. doi: 10.1159/000350520. Epub 2013 May 1.

Detection and characterization of two novel mutations in the HNF4A gene in maturity-onset diabetes of the young type 1 in two Japanese families.

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Department of Pediatrics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, Suita, Japan.



Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a subgroup of monogenic diabetes mellitus, of which MODY1, caused by HNF4A mutations, accounts for only 5% or less and has been rarely reported in East Asian countries. Here we report two novel HNF4A mutations in two Japanese families with MODY1.


Proband 1 is an 8-year-old girl and proband 2 is a 14-year-old girl. Both were nonobese, demonstrated elevated HbA1c and negative serum anti-glutamic acid decarboxylase antibodies, and had a family history of diabetes. We directly sequenced HNF4A and performed functional analysis of the detected missense mutation.


Proband 1 had a heterozygous missense mutation, c.824A>G (p.Asn275Ser). Luciferase assay demonstrated a significant reduction in transcriptional activity. A heterozygous frame shift mutation, c.692-695delAGGA (p.Lys231ThrfsX5), was detected in proband 2. Affected family members shared the same mutations, showing high penetrance. Both mutations reside in the HNF4α dimerization domain and the corresponding amino acids are well conserved between species.


These two mutations are most likely the cause of MODY1 in these families. Considering the effectiveness of sulfonylureas, it is important to correctly diagnose MODY1.

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