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Keywords:

  • ABCC8;
  • ATP-dependent potassium channel;
  • hyperinsulinism of infancy;
  • mutation screening;
  • sulfonylurea receptor

Potassium channels in the plasma membrane of the pancreatic beta cells are critical in maintaining glucose homeostasis by responding to ATP and coupling metabolic changes to insulin secretion. These channels consist of subunits denoted the sulfonylurea receptor SUR1 and the inwardly rectifying ion channel KIR6.2, which are encoded by the genes ABCC8 and KCNJ11, respectively. Activating mutations in the subunit genes can result in monogenic diabetes, whereas inactivating mutations are the most common cause of congenital hyperinsulinism of infancy (CHI). Twenty-six Norwegian probands with CHI were analyzed for alterations in ABCC8 and KCNJ11. Fifteen probands (58%) had mutations in the ABCC8 gene. Nine patients were homozygous or compound heterozygous for the mutations, indicating diffuse pancreatic disease. In five patients, heterozygous and paternally inherited mutations were found, suggesting focal disease. One patient had a de novo mutation likely to cause a milder, dominant form of CHI. Altogether, 16 different ABCC8 mutations (including the novel alterations W231R, C267X, IVS6-3C>G, I462V, Q917X and T1531A) were identified. The mutations IVS10+1G>T, R1493W and V21D occurred in five, three and two families, respectively. KCNJ11 mutations were not found in any patients. Based on our mutation screening, we estimate the minimum birth prevalence of ABCC8-CHI in Norway to 1:70,000 during the past decade. Our results considerably extend the knowledge of the molecular genetics behind CHI in Scandinavia.