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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1992 Jul 15;89(14):6457-61.

Molecular basis of AMP deaminase deficiency in skeletal muscle.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27706.


AMP deaminase (AMPD; EC is encoded by a multigene family in mammals. The AMPD1 gene is expressed at high levels in skeletal muscle, where this enzyme is thought to play an important role in energy metabolism. Deficiency of AMPD activity in skeletal muscle is associated with symptoms of a metabolic myopathy. Eleven unrelated individuals with AMPD deficiency were studied, and each was shown to be homozygous for a mutant allele characterized by a C----T transition at nucleotide 34 (codon 12 in exon 2) and at nucleotide 143 (codon 48 in exon 3). The C----T transition at codon 12 results in a nonsense mutation predicting a severely truncated AMPD peptide. Consistent with this prediction, no immunoreactive AMPD1 peptide is detectable in skeletal muscle of these patients. This mutant allele is found in 12% of Caucasians and 19% of African-Americans, whereas none of the 106 Japanese subjects surveyed has this mutant allele. We conclude from these studies that this mutant allele is present at a sufficiently high frequency to account for the 2% reported incidence of AMPD deficiency in muscle biopsies. The restricted distribution and high frequency of this doubly mutated allele suggest it arose in a remote ancestor of individuals of Western European descent.

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