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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Oct 18;1472(1-2):408-11.

Random nucleotide substitutions in primate nonfunctional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, the missing enzyme in L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Wakayama Medical College, Japan.


Humans and other primates have no functional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase that catalyzes the last step of L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis. The 164-nucleotide sequence of exon X of the gene was compared among human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and macaque, and it was found that nucleotide substitutions had occurred at random throughout the sequence with a single nucleotide deletion, indicating that the primate L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase genes are a typical example of pseudogene.

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