Isodisomy (ID) is a genetic anomaly defined as the inheritance of two copies of the same genetic material from one parent. ID in an offspring is a rare cause of recessive genetic diseases via inheritance of two copies of a mutated gene from one carrier parent. We studied a newborn female with a mut(o) of methylmalonic acidemia and complete absence of insulin-producing beta cells in otherwise normal-appearing pancreatic islets, causing insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. The patient died 2 wk after birth. Serotyping of the HLA antigens, DNA typing of HLA-B and HLA class II loci, study of polymorphic DNA markers of chromosome 6, and cytogenetic analysis demonstrated paternal ID, involving at least a 25-centiMorgan portion of the chromosome pair that encompasses the MHC. ID probably caused methylmalonic acidemia by duplication of a mutated allele of the corresponding gene on the chromosome 6 inherited from the father. It is also very likely that ID was etiologically related to the agenesis of beta cells and consequent insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in our patient. We thus speculate on the existence of a gene on chromosome 6 involved in beta cell differentiation.
M J Abramowicz, M Andrien, E Dupont, H Dorchy, J Parma, L Duprez, F D Ledley, W Courtens, E Vamos