Send to

Choose Destination
N Engl J Med. 1994 Apr 7;330(14):962-8.

A subtype of diabetes mellitus associated with a mutation of mitochondrial DNA.

Author information

Third Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Japan.



Several families have been described in which a mutation of mitochondrial DNA, the substitution of guanine for adenine (A-->G) at position 3243 of leucine transfer RNA, is associated with diabetes mellitus and deafness. The prevalence, clinical features, and pathophysiology of diabetes with this mutation are largely undefined.


We studied 55 patients with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) and a family history of diabetes (group 1), 85 patients with IDDM and no family history of diabetes (group 2), 100 patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and a family history of diabetes (group 3), and 5 patients with diabetes and deafness (group 4) for the mutation. We also studied the prevalence and characteristics of diabetes in 39 patients with a syndrome consisting of mitochondrial myopathy, encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes who were known to have the mutation and 127 of their relatives (group 5).


We identified 16 unrelated patients with diabetes associated with the A-->G mutation: 3 patients from group 1 (6 percent), 2 patients from group 3 (2 percent), 3 patients from group 4 (60 percent), and 8 patients from group 5 (21 percent). We also identified 16 additional subjects who had diabetes and the mutation among 42 relatives of the patients with diabetes and the mutation in groups 1, 2, 3, and 4 and 20 affected subjects among the 127 relatives of the patients in group 5. Diabetes cosegregated with the mutation in a fashion consistent with maternal transmission, was frequently (in 61 percent of cases) associated with sensory hearing loss, and was generally accompanied by impaired insulin secretion.


Diabetes mellitus associated with the A-->G mutation at position 3243 of mitochondrial leucine transfer RNA represents a subtype of diabetes found in both patients with IDDM and patients with NIDDM in Japan.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center