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J Clin Invest. 1988 Oct;82(4):1353-8.

Characterization of point mutations in the same arginine codon in three unrelated patients with ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency.

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  • 1Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Point mutations in the X-linked ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) gene have been detected at the same Taq I restriction site in 3 of 24 unrelated probands with OTC deficiency. A de novo mutation could be traced in all three families to an individual in a prior generation, confirming independent recurrence. The DNA sequence in the region of the altered Taq I site was determined in the three probands. In two unrelated male probands with neonatal onset of severe OTC deficiency, a guanine (G) to adenine (A) mutation on the sense strand (antisense cytosine [C] to thymine [T]) was found, resulting in glutamine for arginine at amino acid 109 of the mature polypeptide. In the third case, where the proband was a symptomatic female, C to T (sense strand) transition converted residue 109 to a premature stop. These results support the observation that Taq I restriction sites, which contain an internal CG, are particularly susceptible to C to T transition mutation due to deamination of a methylated C in either the sense or antisense strand. The OTC gene seems especially sensitive to C to T transition mutation at arginine codon 109 because either a nonsense mutation or an extremely deleterious missense mutation will result.

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