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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Oct 12;96(21):11928-33.

In vivo suppressor mutations correct a murine model of hereditary tyrosinemia type I.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Medical Genetics, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, OR 97201, USA.


Hereditary tyrosinemia type I and alkaptonuria are disorders of tyrosine catabolism caused by deficiency of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) and homogentisic acid dioxygenase (HGD), respectively. Tyrosinemia is a severe childhood disease that affects the liver and kidneys, but alkaptonuria is a more benign adult disorder in comparison. Because HGD is upstream of FAH in the tyrosine pathway, mice doubly mutant in both enzymes were found to be protected from the liver and renal damage of tyrosinemia as hypothesized. Mice mutant at the tyrosinemic locus but heterozygous for alkaptonuria spontaneously developed clonal nodules of functionally normal hepatocytes that were able to rescue the livers of some mice with this genotype. This phenotypic rescue was a result of an inactivating mutation of the wild-type homogentisic acid dioxygenase gene, thus presenting an example of an in vivo suppressor mutation in a mammalian model.

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