Molecular genetic study of human arginase deficiency.
We have explored the molecular pathology in 28 individuals homozygous or heterozygous for liver arginase deficiency (hyperargininemia) by a combination of Southern analysis, western blotting, DNA sequencing, and PCR. This cohort represents the majority of arginase-deficient individuals worldwide. Only 2 of 15 homozygous patients on whom red blood cells were available had antigenically cross-reacting material as ascertained by western blot analysis using anti-liver arginase antibody. Southern blots of patient genomic DNAs, cut with a variety of restriction enzymes and probed with a near-full-length (1,450-bp) human liver arginase cDNA clone, detected no gross gene deletions. Loss of a TaqI cleavage site was identified in three individuals: in a homozygous state in a Saudi Arabian patient at one site, at a different site in homozygosity in a German patient, and in heterozygosity in a patient from Australia. The changes in the latter two were localized to exon 8, through amplification of this region by PCR and electrophoretic analysis of the amplified fragment after treatment with TaqI; the precise base changes (Arg291X and Thr290Ser) were confirmed by sequencing. It is interesting that the latter nucleotide variant (Thr290Ser) was found to lie adjacent to the TaqI site rather than within it, though whether such a conservative amino acid substitution represents a true pathologic mutation remains to be determined. We conclude that arginase deficiency, though rare, is a heterogeneous disorder at the genotypic level, generally encompassing a variety of point mutations rather than substantial structural gene deletions.
Grody, WW; Klein, D; Dodson, AE; Kern, RM; Wissmann, PB; Goodman, BK; Bassand, P; Marescau, B; Kang, SS; Leonard, JV
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