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Hum Mutat. 2006 Sep;27(9):870-8.

Mutations in the BH4-metabolizing genes GTP cyclohydrolase I, 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase, sepiapterin reductase, carbinolamine-4a-dehydratase, and dihydropteridine reductase.

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Division of Clinical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Children's Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland.


Tetrahydrobiopterin (BH(4)) deficiencies are a highly heterogeneous group of disorders with several hundred patients, and so far a total of 193 different mutant alleles or molecular lesions identified in the GTP cyclohydrolase I (GTPCH), 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase (PTPS), sepiapterin reductase (SR), carbinolamine-4a-dehydratase (PCD), or dihydropteridine reductase (DHPR) genes. The spectrum of mutations causing a reduction in one of the three biosynthetic (GTPCH, PTPS, and SR) or the two regenerating enzymes (PCD and DHPR) is tabulated and reviewed. Furthermore, current genomic variations or SNPs are also compiled. Mutations in GCH1 are scattered over the entire gene, and only 5 out of 104 mutant alleles, present in a homozygous state, are reported to cause the autosomal recessive form of inheritable hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) associated with monoamine neurotransmitter deficiency. Almost all other 99 different mutant alleles in GCH1 are observed together with a wild-type allele and cause Dopa-responsive dystonia (DRD, Segawa disease) in a dominant fashion with reduced penetrance. Compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations are spread over the entire genes for PTS with 44 mutant alleles, for PCBD with nine mutant alleles, and for QDPR with 29 mutant alleles. These mutations cause an autosomal recessive inherited form of HPA, mostly accompanied by a deficiency of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. Lack of sepiapterin reductase activity, an autosomal recessive variant of BH(4) deficiency presenting without HPA, was diagnosed in patients with seven different mutant alleles in the SPR gene in exons 2 or 3 or in intron 2. Details on all mutations presented here are constantly updated in the BIOMDB database (

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