The aim of the present study is to investigate the prevalence of ten described mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) mutations in patients with type 2 diabetes, and search for new mutations in four mtDNA genes in a subgroup of patients with characteristics of maternally inherited diabetes and deafness (MIDD). These mutations were investigated in 407 type 2 diabetic patients without characteristics of mitochondrial diabetes ('classical' type 2 diabetes group) and in 38 type 2 diabetic patients with characteristics suggestive of MIDD. Through sequencing of four mtDNA genes in MIDD patients, we selected five others potentially pathogenic mutations that were also screened in the remaining patients. Overall, the frequency of the fifteen analyzed mutations was 36.84% in the MIDD group and 2.45% in the 'classical' type 2 diabetes group (p < 0.001). In conclusion, our study reinforces the importance of mtDNA mutations in the pathogenesis of MIDD.