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Nat Genet. 2001 May;28(1):37-41.

Heterozygous mutations in ANKH, the human ortholog of the mouse progressive ankylosis gene, result in craniometaphyseal dysplasia.

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Institut für Medizinische Genetik, Universitätsklinikum Charité, Humboldt-Universität, Berlin, Germany.


Craniometaphyseal dysplasia (CMD) is a bone dysplasia characterized by overgrowth and sclerosis of the craniofacial bones and abnormal modeling of the metaphyses of the tubular bones. Hyperostosis and sclerosis of the skull may lead to cranial nerve compressions resulting in hearing loss and facial palsy. An autosomal dominant form of the disorder (MIM 123000) was linked to chromosome 5p15.2-p14.1 (ref. 3) within a region harboring the human homolog (ANKH) of the mouse progressive ankylosis (ank) gene. The ANK protein spans the outer cell membrane and shuttles inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), a major inhibitor of physiologic and pathologic calcification, bone mineralization and bone resorption. Here we carry out mutation analysis of ANKH, revealing six different mutations in eight of nine families. The mutations predict single amino acid substitutions, deletions or insertions. Using a helix prediction program, we propose for the ANK molecule 12 membrane-spanning helices with an alternate inside/out orientation and a central channel permitting the passage of PPi. The mutations occur at highly conserved amino acid residues presumed to be located in the cytosolic portion of the protein. Our results link the PPi channel ANK with bone formation and remodeling.

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