In healthy humans, insulin is secreted in an oscillatory manner. While the underlying mechanisms generating these oscillations are not fully established, increasing evidence suggests a central role for phosphofructo-1-kinase/muscle subtype (PFK1-M), which also serves as the predominantly active PFK1 subtype in the pancreatic beta-cell. The fact that normal oscillatory secretion is impaired in subjects with impaired glucose tolerance and healthy relatives of patients with type 2 diabetes suggests that this defect may be involved in the secretory dysfunction. To evaluate a possible link between inherited PFK1-M deficiency in humans (Tarui's disease or glycogenosis type VII) and altered insulin oscillations, in vivo studies were performed. We determined basal insulin oscillations during 2 h of frequent plasma sampling in two related teen-aged individuals with homozygous and heterozygous PFK1-M deficiency compared with nondeficient, unrelated control subjects. As predicted by the underlying hypothesis, normal oscillations in insulin secretion were completely abolished in the individual with homozygous deficiency of PFK1-M and significantly impaired in the heterozygous individual, as shown by spectral density and autocorrelation analyses. Thus, deficiency of PFK1-M subtype in humans appears to be associated with an impaired oscillatory insulin secretion pattern and may contribute to the commonly observed secretion defects occurring in type 2 diabetes.

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