WFS1 Gene-associated Diabetes Phenotypes and Identification of a Founder Mutation in Southern India

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2022 Apr 19;107(5):1328-1336. doi: 10.1210/clinem/dgac002.


CONTEXT: Wolfram syndrome (WFS) is a rare autosomal recessive disorder characterized by juvenile-onset diabetes, diabetes insipidus, optic atrophy, deafness, and progressive neurodegeneration. However, due to the progressive nature of the disease and a lack of complete clinical manifestations, a confirmed diagnosis of WFS at the time of onset of diabetes is a challenge.

OBJECTIVE: With WFS1 rare heterozygous variants reported in diabetes, there is a need for comprehensive genetic screening strategies for the early diagnosis of WFS and delineating the phenotypic spectrum associated with the WFS1 gene variants in young-onset diabetes.

METHODS: This case series of 11 patients who were positive for WFS1 variants were identified with next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based screening of 17 genemonogenic diabetes panel. These results were further confirmed with Sanger sequencing.

RESULTS: 9 out of 11 patients were homozygous for pathogenic/likely pathogenic variants in the WFS1 gene. Interestingly, 3 of these probands were positive for the novel WFS1 (NM_006005.3): c.1107_1108insA (p.Ala370Serfs*173) variant, and haplotype analysis suggested a founder effect in 3 families from Southern India. Additionally, we identified 2 patients with young-onset diabetes who were heterozygous for a likely pathogenic variant or a variant of uncertain significance in the WFS1 gene.

CONCLUSION: These results project the need for NGS-based parallel multigene testing as a tool for early diagnosis of WFS and identify heterozygous WFS1 variants implicated in young-onset diabetes.

PMID:35018440 | DOI:10.1210/clinem/dgac002