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Somat Cell Mol Genet. 1988 May;14(3):293-303.

Spontaneous reversion of novel Lesch-Nyhan mutation by HPRT gene rearrangement.

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  • 1Institute for Molecular Genetics and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Houston, Texas.


Molecular analysis of an unusual patient with the Lesch-Nyhan syndrome has suggested that the mutation is due to a partial HPRT gene duplication. We now report the cloning and sequencing of the mutant HPRT cDNA which shows the precise duplication of exons 2 and 3. This mutation is the result of an internal duplication of 16-20 kilobases of the gene. The structure of the mutant gene suggests that the duplication was not generated by a single unequal crossing-over event between two normal HPRT alleles. Growth of Epstein-Barr virus-transformed lymphoblasts from this patient in selective medium has permitted isolation of spontaneous HPRT+ revertants of this mutation. The reversion event involves a second major HPRT gene rearrangement where most or all of the duplicated portion of the mutant gene is deleted. The original mutation therefore has the potential for spontaneous somatic reversion. This may explain the relatively mild symptoms of the Lesch-Nyhan syndrome exhibited by this patient.

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