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Br J Haematol. 2000 Mar;108(3):480-2.

A new mutation (G51C) in the iron-responsive element (IRE) of L-ferritin associated with hyperferritinaemia-cataract syndrome decreases the binding affinity of the mutated IRE for iron-regulatory proteins.

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Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Biologiche, University of Turin, Italy.


Hereditary hyperferritinaemia-cataract syndrome is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by a constitutively increased synthesis of L-ferritin in the absence of iron overload. The disorder is associated with point mutations in the iron-responsive element (IRE) of L-ferritin mRNA. We report a new mutation, G51C, identified in two members of a Canadian family, presenting a moderate increase in serum ferritin and a clinically silent bilateral cataract. Gel retardation assays showed that the binding of the mutated IRE to iron-regulatory proteins (IRPs) was reduced compared with the wild type. Structural modelling predicted that the G51C induces a rearrangement of base pairing at the lateral bulge of the IRE structure which is likely to modify IRE conformation.

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