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Diabetologia. 1998 Sep;41(9):1024-8.

A missense mutation in the CD38 gene, a novel factor for insulin secretion: association with Type II diabetes mellitus in Japanese subjects and evidence of abnormal function when expressed in vitro.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine II, Chiba University School of Medicine, Japan.


Cyclic adenosine 5'diphosphate-ribose (cADPR) is thought to have a second messenger role in insulin secretion through mobilisation of Ca2+. As human lymphocyte antigen CD38 has both ADP-ribosyl cyclase and cADPR hydrolase activity, it may be important in glucose-induced insulin secretion in islets. Thirty one randomly selected Japanese patients with Type II diabetes mellitus who had first-degree and/or second-degree relative(s) with Type II diabetes mellitus were screened for mutations of this gene using single-stranded conformation polymorphism. Two variant patterns in exon 3 and exon 4 of the CD38 gene were identified. The variant in exon 3 resulted in an amino acid substitution from Arg140 (CGG) to Trp (TGG). The Arg140Trp mutation was observed in 4 of 31 patients, and allele frequencies were significantly different in patients and the control subjects (p = 0.004). One patient with this mutation has two missense mutations on beta cell/liver glucose transporter (GLUT2) gene; her mother, who has impaired glucose tolerance, also has this mutation on the CD38 gene and one missense mutation on the GLUT2 gene. Enzyme activity studies using COS-7 cells expressing the Arg140Trp mutation showed a reduction in ADP-ribosyl cyclase and cADPR hydrolase activity of around 50%. The Arg140Trp mutation on CD38 thus appears to contribute to the development of Type II diabetes mellitus via the impairment of glucose-induced insulin secretion in the presence of other genetic defects.

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