Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Heterozygous activating mutations in Kir6.2 (KCNJ11), the pore-forming subunit of the adenosine triphosphate (ATP)-sensitive potassium (K(ATP)) channel, are a common cause of neonatal diabetes (ND). We assessed the functional effects of two Kir6.2 mutations associated with ND: K170T and E322K. K(ATP) channels were expressed in Xenopus oocytes, and the heterozygous state was simulated by coexpression of wild-type and mutant Kir6.2 with SUR1 (the beta cell type of sulphonylurea receptor (SUR)). Both mutations reduced the sensitivity of the K(ATP) channel to inhibition by MgATP and enhanced whole-cell K(ATP) currents. In pancreatic beta cells, such an increase in the K(ATP) current is expected to reduce insulin secretion and thereby cause diabetes. The E322K mutation was without effect when Kir6.2 was expressed in the absence of SUR1, suggesting that this residue impairs coupling to SUR1. This is consistent with its predicted location on the outer surface of the tetrameric Kir6.2 pore. The kinetics of K170T channel opening and closing were altered by the mutation, which may contribute to the lower ATP sensitivity. Neither mutation affected the sensitivity of the channel to inhibition by the sulphonylurea tolbutamide, suggesting that patients carrying these mutations may respond to these drugs.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabetes Obes Metab

Publication Date



9 Suppl 2


46 - 55


ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters, Adenosine Triphosphate, Animals, Diabetes Mellitus, Electric Conductivity, Heterozygote, Humans, Infant, Newborn, Mutation, Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying, Rats