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J Biol Chem. 1992 Feb 15;267(5):3312-5.

Simultaneous deficiency of sphingolipid activator proteins 1 and 2 is caused by a mutation in the initiation codon of their common gene.

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Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bonn, Germany.


Sphingolipid activator proteins (SAPs) are small, nonenzymic glycoproteins that stimulate lysosomal degradation of various sphingolipids. SAP-1, SAP-2, and two additional potential activator proteins are derived from a common precursor by proteolytic processing. A severe case of sphingolipid storage disease that led to death within 16 weeks was attributed to a possible total deficiency of the SAPs generated by this gene (Harzer, K., Paton, B. C., Poulos, A., Kustermann-Kuhn, B., Roggendorf, W., Grisar, T., and Popp, M. (1989) Eur. J. Pediatr. 149, 31-39). Analysis of the SAP precursor cDNA from the patient and his fetal sibling showed an A to T transversion in the initiation codon. Allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization revealed that both parents are heterozygous carriers for this mutation. In pulse-chase experiments using antisera raised against SAP-1 or SAP-2, no cross-reacting material could be detected in the patients' fibroblasts.

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