NIDDM has a substantial genetic component, but the nature of the genetic susceptibility is largely unknown. Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is a genetically heterogeneous monogenic form of NIDDM characterized by an early age of onset and autosomal dominant inheritance, and linkage studies have identified genes that are mutated in different MODY pedigrees on chromosome 20 (MODY1 locus, hepatocyte nuclear factor-4alpha [HNF-4alpha] gene), chromosome 7 (MODY2 locus, glucokinase gene), and chromosome 12 (MODY3 locus, HNF-1alpha gene). We studied an extended pedigree in which multiple members are affected by late-onset NIDDM associated with insulin resistance and performed linkage analysis with four microsatellite markers in the MODY3 region of chromosome 12q. We found significant evidence for linkage between NIDDM and the MODY3 locus (logarithm of odds score 3.65 at theta = 0.008 telomeric to marker D12S321), but sequencing of the 10 exons and promoter of HNF-1alpha did not identify any causative mutation in this gene. Our results indicate that the region of chromosome 12q close to MODY3 harbors a novel susceptibility gene or genes for NIDDM.

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