To report studies on an elderly patient with moderate NIDDM associated with marked fasting hyperinsulinemia.


The propositus and several family members were studied by a combination of clinical, biochemical, and molecular genetic approaches to define the underlying genetic defect.


Fasting levels of contrainsulin hormones were normal, and resistance to exogenous insulin was absent. Gel filtration and reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography revealed elevated amounts of a structurally abnormal proinsulin intermediate (AC proinsulin). A study of the family of the propositus showed rhe same abnormality in 4 of 5 members in 3 successive generations. Genetic analysis revealed a point mutation affecting residue 65 of human proinsulin (Arg→His) in one allele of the insulin gene in the propositus, a defect similar to that described previously in 3 other apparently unrelated lineages.


This family exhibits a clear-cut relationship between increasing age and metabolic decompensation in all the hyperproinsulinemic members, suggesting that (inherited) metabolic stress and age both contribute to development of diabetes mellitus.

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