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Am J Hum Genet. 1992 Mar;50(3):483-91.

Identification of point mutations in the steroid sulfatase gene of three patients with X-linked ichthyosis.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Genetics, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030.


X-linked ichthyosis (XLI) is an inborn error of metabolism caused by steroid sulfatase (STS) deficiency. In more than 80% of XLI patients the enzyme deficiency is due to large deletions involving the entire STS gene and flanking sequences. However, some patients with the classical XLI phenotype and complete STS deficiency do not show any detectable deletions by Southern blot analysis using full-length STS cDNA as a probe. We have studied five unrelated patients who are such "nondeletion" mutants. Western blot analysis using anti-STS antibodies was performed on patients' fibroblast extracts and revealed absence of cross-reacting material. First-strand cDNA synthesis by reverse transcription from patients' RNA isolated from cultured fibroblasts and PCR amplification of overlapping segments of the entire STS polypeptide coding region were performed. Three point mutations were identified by chemical mismatch cleavage, sequenced by dideoxynucleotide chain-termination sequencing and confirmed by allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization of the patients' genomic DNA. The mutations resulted in the substitution of a tryptophan for an arginine at codon 1319, changing a hydrophobic to a basic hydrophilic amino acid, the substitution of a cysteine for a tyrosine at codon 1542, potentially losing a disulfide bond, and the substitution of a serine for a leucine at codon 1237. These are the first point mutations to be documented in the STS gene and may allow insight into functionally important domains of the protein.

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