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Research Article

Deficiency of phosphofructo-1-kinase/muscle subtype in humans impairs insulin secretion and causes insulin resistance.

M Ristow, M Vorgerd, M Möhlig, H Schatz and A Pfeiffer

Department of Internal Medicine, Ruhr-University of Bochum, University Hospital Bergmannsheil, D-44789 Bochum, Germany.

Published December 1, 1997

Non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) is caused by peripheral insulin resistance and impaired beta cell function. Phosphofructo-1-kinase (PFK1) is a rate-limiting enzyme in glycolysis, and its muscle subtype (PFK1-M) deficiency leads to the autosomal recessively inherited glycogenosis type VII Tarui's disease. It was evaluated whether PFK1-M deficiency leads to alterations in insulin action or secretion in humans. A core family of four members was evaluated for PFK1-M deficiency by DNA and enzyme-activity analyses. All members underwent oral and intravenous glucose tolerance tests (oGTT and ivGTT) and an insulin-sensitivity test (IST) using octreotide. Enzyme activity determinations in red blood cells showed that the father (46 yr, body mass index [BMI] 22. 4 kg/m2) and older son (19 yr, BMI 17.8 kg/m2) had a homozygous, while the mother (47 yr, BMI 28.4 kg/m2) and younger son (13 yr, BMI 16.5 kg/m2) had a heterozygous PFK1-M deficiency. DNA analyses revealed an exon 5 missense mutation causing missplicing of one allele in all four family members, and an exon 22 frameshift mutation of the other allele of the two homozygously affected individuals. The father showed impaired glucose tolerance, and the mother showed NIDDM. By ivGTT, both parents and the older son had decreased first-phase insulin secretion and a diminished glucose disappearance rate. The IST showed marked insulin resistance in both parents and the older, homozygous son, and moderate resistance in the younger son. PFK1-M deficiency causes impaired insulin secretion in response to glucose, demonstrating its participation in islet glucose metabolism, and peripheral insulin resistance. These combined metabolic sequelae of PFK-1 deficiency identify it as a candidate gene predisposing to NIDDM.

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