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Diabetes. 1994 Mar;43(3):357-68.

Molecular scanning of the insulin receptor gene in syndromes of insulin resistance.

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Department of Medicine, Addenbrooke's Hospital, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.


Using the molecular scanning technique of single-stranded conformational polymorphism (SSCP), we have examined the exons encoding the insulin receptor gene in 26 patients with syndromes of insulin resistance. We found 27 variant sequences, 4 of which were mutations that altered an amino acid. One patient with the Rabson-Mendenhall syndrome was homozygous for a mutation in the extracellular alpha-subunit (Ser to Leu323), one type A insulin-resistant patient was heterozygous for Pro to Leu1178, and another type A insulin-resistant patient was heterozygous for a mutation in the COOH-terminus of the receptor (Arg to Gln1351). The previously reported, and probably functionally insignificant, variant Val to Met985 was detected in one patient. No missense or nonsense insulin receptor mutations were found in any patients whose insulin resistance was associated with gross obesity, lipoatrophy, or acromegaloid features. No missense or nonsense mutations were found in subjects with polycystic ovary syndrome or Syndrome X. Putting these findings in the context of other work in this field, we conclude that subjects with leprechaunism or Rabson-Mendenhall syndrome have a high probability of having a missense or nonsense insulin receptor mutation. Nonobese, nondysmorphic, severely insulin-resistant females with hirsutism, acanthosis nigricans, and menstrual disturbance (type A phenotype) have an intermediate probability of having this type of insulin receptor mutation. Although insulin receptor mutations have been occasionally described in other phenotypes of insulin resistance, the frequency of point mutations in the exons of the insulin receptor gene in patients with those phenotypes appears to be low.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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