The acute insulin response (AIR), a measure of pancreatic β-cell function, aggregates in families and is a predictor for the development of non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) in insulin-resistant Pima Indians. To assess the genetic components of AIR and NIDDM, polymorphic dinucleotide repeat regions in two candidate genes, the liver/islet glucose transporter gene (GLUT2) and the glucokinase gene, were evaluated. Sib-pair linkage analyses were performed to determine if linkage exists between these marker loci and measurements of AIR and NIDDM. No linkage was found between glucokinase and either AIR or NIDDM. Robust sib-pair linkage analyses suggest linkage between GLUT2 and acute insulin response (P = 0.04), but no linkage was observed with NIDDM. The coding region of the GLUT2 gene was screened for mutations using polymerase chain reaction-single-strand conformation polymorphism analysis. A single base change was identified in exon 3 in ∼5% of the study population, and it constitutes the first reported mutation in the human GLUT2 gene. This base change resulted in an amino acid substitution (Thr110→Ile110) in the second membrane-spanning region of the GLUT2 protein. No significant association was noted between AIR and the presence or absence of the mutation. Thus, this mutation in GLUT2 is unlikely the cause of a low AIR in Pima Indians.

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