The glucokinase mutation p.T206P is common among MODY patients of Jewish Ashkenazi descent

Yael Gozlan, Ariel Tenenbaum, Shlomit Shalitin, Yael Lebenthal, Tal Oron, Ohad Cohen, Moshe Phillip, Galia Gat-Yablonski*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) is characterized by an autosomal dominant mode of inheritance; a primary defect in insulin secretion with non-ketotic hyperglycemia, age of onset under 25 yr; and lack of autoantibodies. Heterozygous mutations in glucokinase (GCK) are associated with mild fasting hyperglycemia and gestational diabetes mellitus while homozygous or compound heterozygous GCK mutations result in permanent neonatal diabetes mellitus. Given that both the Israeli-Arabic and the various Israeli-Jewish communities tend to maintain ethnic seclusion, we speculated that it would be possible to identify a relatively narrow spectrum of mutations in the Israeli population. Objective: To characterize the genetic basis of GCK-MODY in the different ethnic groups of the Israeli population. Subjects: Patients with clinically identified GCK-MODY and their first degree family members. Methods: Molecular analysis of GCK was performed on genomic DNA using polymerase chain reaction, denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE), and sequencing. Bioinformatic model was preformed using the NEST program. Results: Mutations in GCK were identified in 25 families and were all family-specific, except c.616A>C. p.T206P. This mutation was identified in six unrelated families, all patients from a Jewish-Ashkenazi descent, thus indicating an ethno-genetic correlation. A simple, fast, and relatively cheap DGGE/restriction-digestion assay was developed. Conclusions: The high incidence of the mutant allele in GCK-MODY patients of Jewish-Ashkenazi descent suggests a founder effect. We propose that clinically identified GCK-MODY patients of Jewish-Ashkenazi origin be first tested for this mutation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e14-e21
JournalPediatric Diabetes
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • Ashkenazi
  • DGGE
  • GCK
  • MODY
  • Mutation


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