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Clin Genet. 2009 May;75(5):457-64.

Molecular mechanisms underlying large genomic deletions in ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) gene.

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  • 1IPATIMUP - Institute of Pathology and Molecular Immunology of University of Porto, Porto, Portugal.


Ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency (OTCD) is an X-linked urea cycle error causing hyperammonemia and orotic aciduria. Clinical diagnosis is generally confirmed by mutation detection. However, in approximately 20% of the patients, no mutation is found by conventional mutation-searching strategies, which fail to detect deletions spanning at least a whole exon, large rearrangements, or mutations at non-coding regions. To detect large deletions or duplications, we have applied the multiplex ligation-dependent probe amplification (MLPA) methodology to three OTCD patients (two females and one male). MLPA revealed copy number alterations of OTC exons in all of them. The two females were found to be heterozygous for deletions of either exon 2 or exons 6-9, and the male was confirmed to lack all OTC exons. Females' characterization of the deletion breakpoints by long polymerase chain reaction and sequencing revealed the mutations c.78-3544_217-129del5921 and c.541-600_1005 + 1880del10862 corresponding to exon 2 and exon 6-9 deletions, respectively. Examination of the deletion-flanking regions suggests that exon 2 deletion probably resulted from replication slippage facilitated by a secondary structure formed by two inverted Alu repeats, whereas an Alu-Alu homologous recombination was probably responsible for the exon 6-9 deletion. This work contributes to the identification of novel disease-causing mutations in OTCD and increases the knowledge on possible mutational mechanisms generating deletions in OTC.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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