Functional characterization of p.Pro409His variant in HNF1A, a hypomorphic mutation involved in pancreatic β-cell dysfunction

  • Donatella Nocera
  • Miranda Menniti
  • Stefania Belviso
  • Heather Mandy Bond
  • Delia Lanzillotta
  • Cristina Barbara Spoleti
  • Maria Rosaria Guagliardi
  • Paola Malatesta
  • Francesco Trapasso
  • Concetta Irace
  • Nicola PerrottiEmail author
  • Rodolfo IulianoEmail author
Original Article



HNF1A is a gene coding for the transcription factor HNF1-α, mutated in some forms of MODY and type 2 diabetes mellitus characterized by a strong genetic component. The penetrance of HNF1A variants differs considerably; thus, to assess the genetic risk of diabetes in carrier subjects of a HNF1A mutant allele, a functional characterization of mutant forms is of paramount importance.


The HNF1A gene was sequenced in two patients with partly discordant diabetic phenotype, carrying the p.Pro409His variant. To evaluate the pathogenicity of the variant, we measured the transactivation power of the corresponding P408H HNF1-α mutant mouse form on HNF1-α target promoters.


We found a lower but detectable activity of transactivation of the mutant form compared with the wild-type form and we excluded mechanisms of protein degradation or nuclear mislocalization.


The HNF1A mutation p.Pro409His can be considered a mild variant that confers a moderate risk of type 2 diabetes mellitus in heterozygous carriers.


HNF1A Mutation MODY Type 2 diabetes mellitus 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia S.r.l., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donatella Nocera
    • 1
  • Miranda Menniti
    • 2
  • Stefania Belviso
    • 2
  • Heather Mandy Bond
    • 3
  • Delia Lanzillotta
    • 3
  • Cristina Barbara Spoleti
    • 2
  • Maria Rosaria Guagliardi
    • 1
  • Paola Malatesta
    • 1
  • Francesco Trapasso
    • 1
    • 3
  • Concetta Irace
    • 2
  • Nicola Perrotti
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rodolfo Iuliano
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Unit of Medical GeneticsUniversity Hospital Mater DominiCatanzaroItaly
  2. 2.Department of Human HealthUniversity Magna Graecia of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly
  3. 3.Department of Experimental and Clinical MedicineUniversity Magna Graecia of CatanzaroCatanzaroItaly

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