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The application of molecular scanning techniques to the detection of potentially pathogenic mutations in candidate genes in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes has revealed a number of molecular variants of uncertain pathophysiologic significance. The determination of the significance of such variants requires large-scale population studies of the prevalence of the mutant in affected and control groups. Herein, we describe two adaptations of the technique of single nucleotide primer extension (SNuPE) which allow the simultaneous examination of large numbers of alleles at multiple loci. The usefulness of these adaptations is illustrated by their application to the simultaneous detection of three point mutations, two in the tyrosine kinase domain of the insulin receptor and one in the insulin-responsive glucose transporter (GLUT4) in a highly insulin-resistant NIDDM population. By pooling genomic or amplified DNA and performing the SNuPE reactions with three primers of different length we could readily examine 300 alleles on a single 20 lane gel. Using pooled SNuPE, we also examined a large British Caucasian control population for the prevalence of GLUT4 Ile383, a variant which has previously been reported only in NIDDM. GLUT4 Ile383 was detected in 2/42 of the highly insulin-resistant NIDDM subjects and 4/240 middle-aged blood donors. Family studies and examination of the expressed mutant transporter will be necessary to establish whether this mutation is of functional significance. Pooled and multiplex SNuPE are powerful techniques with wide applicability to population genetic studies of specific mutations.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum mol genet

Publication Date





391 - 395


Alleles, Amino Acid Sequence, Blood Donors, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Exons, Genetic Variation, Genotype, Humans, Insulin Resistance, Isoleucine, Middle Aged, Monosaccharide Transport Proteins, Mutation, Oligodeoxyribonucleotides, Polymerase Chain Reaction, Receptor, Insulin, United Kingdom, Wales, Whites