OBJECTIVE - Heterozygous mutations in the human preproinsulin (INS) gene are a cause of nonsyndromic neonatal or early-infancy diabetes. Here, we sought to identify INS mutations associated with maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY) or nonautoimmune diabetes in mid-adult life, and to explore the molecular mechanisms involved. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - The INS gene was sequenced in 16 French probands with unexplained MODY, 95 patients with nonautoimmune early-onset diabetes (diagnosed at <35 years) and 292 normoglycemic control subjects of French origin. Three identified insulin mutants were generated by site-directed mutagenesis of cDNA encoding a preproinsulin-green fluorescent protein (GFP) (C-peptide) chimera. Intracellular targeting was assessed in clonal β-cells by immunocytochemistry and proinsulin secretion, by radioimmunoassay. Spliced XBP1 and C/EBP homologous protein were quantitated by real-time PCR. RESULTS - A novel coding mutation, L30M, potentially affecting insulin multimerization, was identified in five diabetic individuals (diabetes onset 17-36 years) in a single family. L30M preproinsulin-GFP fluorescence largely associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) in MIN6 β-cells, and ER exit was inhibited by ∼50%. Two additional mutants, R55C (at the B/C junction) and R6H (in the signal peptide), were normally targeted to secretory granules, but nonetheless caused substantial ER stress. CONCLUSIONS - We describe three INS mutations cosegregating with early-onset diabetes whose clinical presentation is compatible with MODY. These led to the production of (pre)proinsulin molecules with markedly different trafficking properties and effects on ER stress, demonstrating a range of molecular defects in the β-cell.