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Hum Mutat. 1995;6(1):17-22.

Homozygosity for a null allele of the insulin receptor gene in a patient with leprechaunism.

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Diabetes Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1770, USA.


Mutations in the insulin receptor gene can cause genetic syndromes associated with extreme insulin resistance. We have investigated a patient with leprechaunism (leprechaun/Qatar-1) born of a consanguineous marriage. Postnatally, the proband had episodes of severe hypoglycemia and hyperinsulinernia, with blood glucose levels ranging from 0.9 to 9.9 mmol/L. The C peptide concentration with 1880 nmol/L, and the total insulin concentration was 1409 mU/L. The patient died outside the hospital at the age of four months. All 22 exons of the patient's insulin receptor gene were screened for mutations using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Thereafter, the nucleotide sequences of selected exons were determined directly. The patient was homozygous for a mutation in exon 13; thirteen base pairs were deleted and replaced by a 5 b.p. sequence. This mutation shifts the reading frame and introduces a premature chain termination codon downstream in exon 13. Thus, the mutant allele is predicted to be a null allele that encodes a truncated receptor lacking both transmembrane and tyrosine kinase domains.

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