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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2003 Mar 28;303(1):14-8.

Elevated plasma deoxyuridine in patients with thymidine phosphorylase deficiency.

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  • 1Department of Neurology, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, P&S 4-443, 630 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Mutations in the nuclear gene encoding thymidine phosphorylase (TP) cause mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalomyopathy (MNGIE), an autosomal recessive disease with mitochondrial dysfunction and mitochondrial DNA abnormalities. We have demonstrated alterations of thymidine (dThd) metabolism in MNGIE patients. Here, we report the accumulation of another substrate of TP, deoxyuridine (dUrd), whose circulating levels ranged from 5.5 to 24.4 microM (average 14.2) in MNGIE and were undetectable (<0.05 microM) in both TP mutation carriers and controls. The dramatic accumulation of dUrd may contribute to nucleotide pool imbalances and, together with the increased levels of dThd, is likely to contribute to the pathogenesis of MNGIE.

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