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Bone. 2002 Feb;30(2):436-9.

Novel mutations in the a3 subunit of vacuolar H(+)-adenosine triphosphatase in a Japanese patient with infantile malignant osteopetrosis.

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  • 1Environmental Medicine Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Osaka, Japan.


A case of infantile malignant osteopetrosis is described. The patient died from respiratory hemorrhage at 7 months of age despite treatment that included high doses of active vitamin D and administration of interferon-gamma. A postmortem examination revealed the presence of many osteoclasts in the bone, which lacked ruffled borders. This observation was consistent with the histology of bone reported in Atp6i-knockout mice, which lack the gene encoding the a3 subunit of vacuolar-type H(+)-adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase). Sequence analysis of the TCIRG1 gene encoding the a3 subunit revealed two novel mutations: a deletion/insertion mutation in exon 9 and a T-to-C transition at the splice donor site of intron 19. The former mutation caused a frame shift and premature stop codon. The latter was associated with abnormal splicing, which was confirmed by sequencing the products amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), using total RNA from the liver specimen as template. Although several mutations in the TCIRG1 gene in infantile malignant osteopetrosis have been reported in other populations, this is the first case of a Japanese patient with a mutation identified in this gene. These results support the important role of the subunit in the function of the proton pump.

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