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Pediatr Res. 2002 Feb;51(2):150-8.

Nonsense mutations in ADTB3A cause complete deficiency of the beta3A subunit of adaptor complex-3 and severe Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome type 2.

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  • 1Section on Human Biochemical Genetics, Heritable Disorders Branch, National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-1830, USA.


Hermansky-Pudlak syndrome (HPS) is an autosomal recessive disease consisting of oculocutaneous albinism and a storage pool deficiency resulting from absent platelet dense bodies. The disorder is genetically heterogeneous. The majority of patients, including members of a large genetic isolate in northwest Puerto Rico, have mutations in HPS1. Another gene, ADTB3A, was shown to cause HPS-2 in two brothers having compound heterozygous mutations that allowed for residual production of the gene product, the beta3A subunit of adaptor complex-3 (AP-3). This heterotetrameric complex serves as a coat protein-mediating formation of intracellular vesicles, e.g. the melanosome and platelet dense body, from membranes of the trans-Golgi network. We determined the genomic organization of the human ADTB3A gene, with intron/exon boundaries, and describe a third patient with beta3A deficiency. This 5-y-old boy has two nonsense mutations, C1578T (R-->X) and G2028T (E-->X), which produce no ADTB3A mRNA and no beta3A protein. The associated mu3 subunit of AP-3 is also entirely absent. In fibroblasts, the cell biologic concomitant of this deficiency is robust and aberrant trafficking through the plasma membrane of LAMP-3, an integral lysosomal membrane protein normally carried directly to the lysosome. The clinical concomitant is a severe, G-CSF-responsive neutropenia in addition to oculocutaneous albinism and platelet storage pool deficiency. Our findings expand the molecular, cellular, and clinical spectrum of HPS-2 and call for an increased index of suspicion for this diagnosis among patients with features of albinism, bleeding, and neutropenia.

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