, Volume 48, Issue 3, pp 203-208,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 25 Mar 2011

Phenotype variability and neonatal diabetes in a large family with heterozygous mutation of the glucokinase gene


Monogenic diabetes caused by mutations in the glucokinase gene (GCK-MODY) is usually characterized by a mild clinical phenotype. The clinical course of diabetes may be, however, highly variable. The authors present a child with diabetes manifesting with ketoacidosis during the neonatal period, born in a large family with ten members bearing a heterozygous p.Gly223Ser mutation in GCK. DNA sequencing and multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification were used to confirm GCK mutation and exclude other de novo mutations in other known genes associated with monogenic diabetes. Continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) was used to assess daily glycemic profiles. At the onset of diabetes the child had hyperglycemia 765 mg/dl with pH 7.09. Her glycated hemoglobin level was 8.6% (70.5 mmol/mol). The C-peptide level was below normal range (<0.5 pmol/ml) at onset, and the three- and 6-month follow-up examinations. Current evaluation at age 3 still showed unsatisfactory metabolic control with HbA1c level equal to 8.1% (65.0 mmol/mol). CGM data showed glucose concentrations profile similar to poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. The patient was confirmed to be heterozygous for the p.Gly223Ser mutation and did not show any point mutations or deletions within other monogenic diabetes genes. Other family members with p.Gly223Ser mutation had retained C-peptide levels and mild diabetes manageable with diet (five individuals), oral hypoglycemizing agents (five patients), or insulin (one patient). This mutation was absent within all healthy family members. Heterozygous mutations of the GCK gene may result in neonatal diabetes similar to type 1 diabetes, the cause of such phenotype variety is still unknown. The possibility of other additional, unknown mutations seems to be the most likely explanation for the unusual presentation of GCK-MODY.

M. Borowiec and M. Mysliwiec are contributed equally to this study.