, Volume 41, Issue 9, pp 1024-1028

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


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. [Diabetologia (1998) 41: 1024–1028]

Received: 30 December 1997 and in final revised form: 2 April 1998