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Br J Haematol. 2001 Dec;115(4):910-7.

X-linked cerebellar ataxia and sideroblastic anaemia associated with a missense mutation in the ABC7 gene predicting V411L.

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Department of Haematology, University of Wales College of Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff, Wales, UK.


Two brothers with X-linked ataxia (XLA) were found to have hypochromic red cells and increased erythrocyte protoporphyrin despite normal iron stores. The mother was unaffected by ataxia and had normal iron stores but showed evidence of some red cell hypochromia with heavy basophilic stippling that stained positive for iron. Bone marrow biopsy confirmed the presence of ring sideroblasts in one of the brothers. The absence of mutations in the ALAS2 gene and the predominance of zinc over free protoporphyrin led to a search using a combination of DNA and cDNA analysis for the presence of mutations in the ABC7 gene. ABC7 encodes a mitochondrial half-type ATP Binding Cassette transporter involved in iron homeostasis. The published cDNA sequence was used to search databases for the genomic sequence of which 12 exons spanning 23.4 kb were mapped leaving the most 5' nucleotides unaccounted for. The identified exons and their exon-intron boundaries were amplified from DNA while the most 5' sequence including the initiation codon was amplified from cDNA of peripheral blood cells. Direct sequencing revealed hemizygosity in the brothers and heterozygosity in the mother for a G-->C transversion at position 1299 of the published cDNA. This predicts a V411L substitution at the beginning of the last of six putative transmembrane regions of the protein. Restriction enzyme digestion confirmed the presence of this mutation in the three family members but could not detect it in 200 normal alleles. An uncle affected by ataxia also carried this mutation. This study supports the recently hypothesized involvement of the ABC7 gene in XLSA/A and highlights a protein structure region of importance to this syndrome.

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