Published in Volume
102, Issue 1
(July 1, 1998)J Clin Invest.
1998, The American Society for
Insulin promoter factor-1 gene mutation linked to early-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus directs expression of a dominant negative isoprotein.
Laboratory of Molecular Endocrinology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.
Published July 1, 1998
The homeodomain transcription factor insulin promoter factor-1 (IPF-1) is required for development of the pancreas and also mediates glucose-responsive stimulation of insulin gene transcription. Earlier we described a human subject with pancreatic agenesis attributable to homozygosity for a cytosine deletion in codon 63 of the IPF-1 gene (Pro63fsdelC). Pro63fsdelC resulted in the premature truncation of an IPF-1 protein which lacked the homeodomain required for DNA binding and nuclear localization. Subsequently, we linked the heterozygous state of this mutation with type 2 diabetes mellitus in the extended family of the pancreatic agenesis proband. In the course of expressing the mutant IPF-1 protein in eukaryotic cells, we detected a second IPF-1 isoform, recognized by COOH- but not NH2-terminal-specific antisera. This isoform localizes to the nucleus and retains DNA-binding functions. We provide evidence that internal translation initiating at an out-of-frame AUG accounts for the appearance of this protein. The reading frame crosses over to the wild-type IPF-1 reading frame at the site of the point deletion just carboxy proximal to the transactivation domain. Thus, the single mutated allele results in the translation of two IPF-1 isoproteins, one of which consists of the NH2-terminal transactivation domain and is sequestered in the cytoplasm and the second of which contains the COOH-terminal DNA-binding domain, but lacks the transactivation domain. Further, the COOH-terminal mutant IPF-1 isoform does not activate transcription and inhibits the transactivation functions of wild-type IPF-1. This circumstance suggests that the mechanism of diabetes in these individuals may be due not only to reduced gene dosage, but also to a dominant negative inhibition of transcription of the insulin gene and other beta cell-specific genes regulated by the mutant IPF-1.