Congenital hyperinsulinism associated ABCC8 mutations that cause defective trafficking of ATP-sensitive K+ channels: identification and rescue

Diabetes. 2007 Sep;56(9):2339-48. doi: 10.2337/db07-0150. Epub 2007 Jun 15.


Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is a disease characterized by persistent insulin secretion despite severe hypoglycemia. Mutations in the pancreatic ATP-sensitive K(+) (K(ATP)) channel proteins sulfonylurea receptor 1 (SUR1) and Kir6.2, encoded by ABCC8 and KCNJ11, respectively, is the most common cause of the disease. Many mutations in SUR1 render the channel unable to traffic to the cell surface, thereby reducing channel function. Previous studies have shown that for some SUR1 trafficking mutants, the defects could be corrected by treating cells with sulfonylureas or diazoxide. The purpose of this study is to identify additional mutations that cause channel biogenesis/trafficking defects and those that are amenable to rescue by pharmacological chaperones. Fifteen previously uncharacterized CHI-associated missense SUR1 mutations were examined for their biogenesis/trafficking defects and responses to pharmacological chaperones, using a combination of immunological and functional assays. Twelve of the 15 mutations analyzed cause reduction in cell surface expression of K(ATP) channels by >50%. Sulfonylureas rescued a subset of the trafficking mutants. By contrast, diazoxide failed to rescue any of the mutants. Strikingly, the mutations rescued by sulfonylureas are all located in the first transmembrane domain of SUR1, designated as TMD0. All TMD0 mutants rescued to the cell surface by the sulfonylurea tolbutamide could be subsequently activated by metabolic inhibition on tolbutamide removal. Our study identifies a group of CHI-causing SUR1 mutations for which the resulting K(ATP) channel trafficking and expression defects may be corrected pharmacologically to restore channel function.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics*
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / physiology
  • Animals
  • COS Cells
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Haplorhini
  • Humans
  • Hyperinsulinism / congenital
  • Hyperinsulinism / genetics*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Potassium Channels / genetics
  • Potassium Channels / physiology*
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying / genetics*
  • Receptors, Drug / genetics*
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors


  • ABCC8 protein, human
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • Kir6.2 channel
  • Potassium Channels
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Receptors, Drug
  • Sulfonylurea Receptors
  • Adenosine Triphosphate