The genetic and clinical characteristics of WFS1 related diabetes in Chinese early onset type 2 diabetes

Sci Rep. 2023 Jun 5;13(1):9127. doi: 10.1038/s41598-023-36334-7.


Diabetes is one of the most common phenotypes of Wolfram syndrome owing to the presence of the variants of the WFS1 gene and is often misdiagnosed as other types of diabetes. We aimed to explore the prevalence of WFS1-related diabetes (WFS1-DM) and its clinical characteristics in a Chinese population with early-onset type 2 diabetes (EOD). We sequenced all exons of the WFS1 gene in 690 patients with EOD (age at diagnosis ≤ 40 years) for rare variants. Pathogenicity was defined according to the standards and guidelines of the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics. We identified 33 rare variants predicted to be deleterious in 39 patients. The fasting [1.57(1.06-2.22) ng/ml] and postprandial C-peptide levels [2.8(1.75-4.46) ng/ml] of the patients with such WFS1 variations were lower than those of the patients without WFS1 variation [2.09(1.43-3.05) and 4.29(2.76-6.07) respectively, ng/ml]. Six (0.9%) patients carried pathogenic or likely pathogenic variants; they met the diagnostic criteria for WFS1-DM according to the latest guidelines, but typical phenotypes of Wolfram syndrome were seldom observed. They were diagnosed at an earlier age and usually presented with an absence of obesity, impaired beta cell function, and the need for insulin treatment. WFS1-DM is usually mistakenly diagnosed as type 2 diabetes, and genetic testing is helpful for individualized treatment.

PMID:37277527 | DOI:10.1038/s41598-023-36334-7