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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1989 Dec;86(23):9436-40.

Arylsulfatase A pseudodeficiency: loss of a polyadenylylation signal and N-glycosylation site.

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  • 1Universität Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


Metachromatic leukodystrophy is a metabolic disorder caused by the deficiency of arylsulfatase A. Deficiency of this enzyme is also found in apparently healthy individuals, a condition for which the term pseudodeficiency was introduced. The arylsulfatase A (cerebroside-3-sulfate 3-sulfohydrolase; EC (ASA) encoding gene was isolated from an individual homozygous for the ASA pseudodeficiency allele. Sequence analysis revealed two A----G transitions. One changes Arg-350 to serine, which leads to the loss of a utilized N-glycosylation site. This loss explains the smaller size of ASA in ASA pseudodeficiency fibroblasts. The introduction of Ser-350 into normal ASA cDNA does not affect the rate of synthesis, the stability, or the catalytic properties of ASA in stably transfected baby hamster kidney cells. Therefore, the loss of the N-linked oligosaccharide does not contribute to the reduction of ASA activity in ASA pseudodeficiency. The other A----G transition changes the first polyadenylylation signal downstream of the stop codon from AATAAC to AGTAAC. The latter causes a severe deficiency of a 2.1-kilobase (kb) mRNA species. The deficiency of the 2.1-kb RNA species provides an explanation for the diminished synthesis of ASA seen in pseudodeficiency fibroblasts. Amplification of genomic DNA and hybridization with allele-specific oligonucleotides detected both mutations in four unrelated individuals with ASA pseudodeficiency.

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