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Am J Hum Genet. 1991 Sep;49(3):575-80.

Molecular characterization of variant alpha-subunit of electron transfer flavoprotein in three patients with glutaric acidemia type II--and identification of glycine substitution for valine-157 in the sequence of the precursor, producing an unstable mature protein in a patient.

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  • 1Department of Human Genetics, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06510.


In our previous study of eight glutaric acidemia type II (GAII) fibroblast lines by using [35S]methionine labeling and immunoprecipitation, three of them had a defect in the synthesis of the alpha-subunit of electron transfer flavoprotein (alpha-ETF) (Ikeda et al. 1986). In one of them (YH1313) the labeling of the mature alpha-ETF was barely detectable, while that of the precursor (p) was stronger. In another (YH605) no synthesis of immunoreactive p alpha-ETF was detectable. In the third cell line (YH1391) the rate of variant p alpha-ETF synthesis was comparable to normal, but its electrophoretic mobility was slightly faster than normal. In the present study, the northern blot analysis revealed that all three mutant cell lines contained p alpha-ETF mRNA and that their size and amount were comparable to normal. In immunoblot analysis, both alpha- and beta-ETF bands were barely detectable in YH1313 and YH605 but were detectable in YH1391 in amounts comparable to normal. Sequencing of YH1313 p alpha-ETF cDNA via PCR identified a transversion of T-470 to G. We then devised a simple PCR method for the 119-bp section (T-443/G-561) for detecting this mutation. In the upstream primer, A-466 was artificially replaced with C, to introduce a BstNI site into the amplified copies in the presence of G-470 from the variant sequence. The genomic DNA analysis using this method demonstrated that YH1313 was homozygous for T----G-470 transversion. It was not detected either in two other alpha-ETF-deficient GAII or in seven control cell lines. The alpha-ETF cDNA sequence in YH605 was identical to normal.

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