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Am J Hum Genet. 1999 May;64(5):1316-22.

Analysis of alkaptonuria (AKU) mutations and polymorphisms reveals that the CCC sequence motif is a mutational hot spot in the homogentisate 1,2 dioxygenase gene (HGO).

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Unidad de Patología. Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Velázquez 144, 28006-Madrid, Spain.


We recently showed that alkaptonuria (AKU) is caused by loss-of-function mutations in the homogentisate 1,2 dioxygenase gene (HGO). Herein we describe haplotype and mutational analyses of HGO in seven new AKU pedigrees. These analyses identified two novel single-nucleotide polymorphisms (INV4+31A-->G and INV11+18A-->G) and six novel AKU mutations (INV1-1G-->A, W60G, Y62C, A122D, P230T, and D291E), which further illustrates the remarkable allelic heterogeneity found in AKU. Reexamination of all 29 mutations and polymorphisms thus far described in HGO shows that these nucleotide changes are not randomly distributed; the CCC sequence motif and its inverted complement, GGG, are preferentially mutated. These analyses also demonstrated that the nucleotide substitutions in HGO do not involve CpG dinucleotides, which illustrates important differences between HGO and other genes for the occurrence of mutation at specific short-sequence motifs. Because the CCC sequence motifs comprise a significant proportion (34.5%) of all mutated bases that have been observed in HGO, we conclude that the CCC triplet is a mutational hot spot in HGO.

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