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A 70-yr-old mildly diabetic white male was discovered to have an elevated level of serum free glycerol in the range of 75 mg/dl and to excrete about 13 g of free glycerol in the urine per 24 h. During a 24-h fast the urine glycerol loss increased to 21.5 g per 24 h. Studies carried out in vitro using leukocytes prepared from the patient's blood which were incubated with [14C]glycerol demonstrated an almost complete absence of glycerol oxidation to 14CO2 and of glycerol phosphorylation, in contrast to control studies with leukocytes collected from normal subjects. Homogenates of the patient's leukocytes contained negligible activity of ATP:glycerol phosphotransferase (glycerokinase EC 188.8.131.52) as measured by a direct spectrophotometric method. Marked hyperglycerolemia has thus far been detected in one brother and in one son of the daughter of this patient. This evidence suggests an x-linked recessive inheritance pattern of the trait. There is a high prevalence of diabetes mellitus in this family.