A report of 2 new cases of MODY2 and review of the literature: Implications in the search for type 2 Diabetes drugs

Christos Shammas, Vassos Neocleous, Marie M. Phelan, Lu Yun Lian, Nicos Skordis, Leonidas A. Phylactou

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Glucokinase (GCK) acts as a glucose sensor and stimulates the release of insulin from pancreatic β-cells and any GCK gene mutations can lead to different forms of diabetes, such as GCK-monogenic diabetes of the young type 2 (MODY2), permanent neonatal diabetes and congenital hyperinsulinism. Many MODY2 causing mutations display a variation in the degree of severity, ranging from mild dietary-restricted forms to more detrimental presentation requiring insulin replacement. The present study reviews known and two novel GCK mutations in terms of molecular perturbation of the GCK atomic structure but also emphasizes the inactivating and activating properties of the GCK as treatment for T2DM. In silico analysis demonstrated that the newly discovered mutation p.Arg447Pro causes structural conformational changes that lead to the destabilization of the functional properties of the protein resulting in the reduction of glucose and MgATP2 - affinity. The novel p.Glu440Stop nonsense mutation on the other hand inactivates the cytoplasmic enzymatic activity of the protein as it is responsible for the loss of the C-terminal end of the polypeptide that includes vital glucose-releasing residues. Based on the in silico models of existing structural data we identified several classes of GCK mutations and discuss their relation to disease outcome. GCK has a central role in controlling body glucose homeostasis and therefore is considered an outstanding drug target for developing new antidiabetic therapies using small molecular activators (GKAs). This study emphasizes the importance in understanding how inactivating and activating GCK mutations affect the mechanistic properties of this glucose sensor. Such information can become the basis for drug discovery of therapeutic compounds and the treatment of T2DM by targeting the GCK allosteric activator site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1535-1542
Number of pages8
JournalMetabolism: Clinical and Experimental
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


  • Congenital hyperinsulinism
  • Glucokinase
  • Glucokinase activators
  • Monogenic diabetes of young type 2
  • Neonatal diabetes


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