Human mutation within Per-Arnt-Sim (PAS) domain-containing protein kinase (PASK) causes basal insulin hypersecretion

J Biol Chem. 2011 Dec 23;286(51):44005-14. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.254995. Epub 2011 Nov 7.


PAS kinase (PASK) is a glucose-regulated protein kinase involved in the control of pancreatic islet hormone release and insulin sensitivity. We aimed here to identify mutations in the PASK gene that may be associated with young-onset diabetes in humans. We screened 18 diabetic probands with unelucidated maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). We identified two rare nonsynonymous mutations in the PASK gene (p.L1051V and p.G1117E), each of which was found in a single MODY family. Wild type or mutant PASKs were expressed in HEK 293 cells. Kinase activity of the affinity-purified proteins was assayed as autophosphorylation at amino acid Thr307 or against an Ugp1p-derived peptide. Whereas the PASK p.G1117E mutant displayed a ∼25% increase with respect to wild type PASK in the extent of autophosphorylation, and a ∼2-fold increase in kinase activity toward exogenous substrates, the activity of the p.L1051V mutant was unchanged. Amino acid Gly1117 is located in an α helical region opposing the active site of PASK and may elicit either: (a) a conformational change that increases catalytic efficiency or (b) a diminished inhibitory interaction with the PAS domain. Mouse islets were therefore infected with adenoviruses expressing wild type or mutant PASK and the regulation of insulin secretion was examined. PASK p.G1117E-infected islets displayed a 4-fold decrease in glucose-stimulated (16.7 versus 3 mM) insulin secretion, chiefly reflecting a 4.5-fold increase in insulin release at low glucose. In summary, we have characterized a rare mutation (p.G1117E) in the PASK gene from a young-onset diabetes family, which modulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Genomics
  • Glucagon / metabolism
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • HEK293 Cells
  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology*
  • Male
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Models, Genetic
  • Mutagenesis
  • Phosphorylation
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics*
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Recombinant Proteins / metabolism


  • HSP70 Heat-Shock Proteins
  • Insulin
  • Membrane Proteins
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • glucose-regulated proteins
  • Glucagon
  • PAS domain kinases
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • Glucose