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Am J Hum Genet. 1993 Nov;53(5):1024-30.

A search for the primary abnormality in adult-onset type II citrullinemia.

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Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Kagoshima University, Japan.


Deficiency of argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS) causes citrullinemia in human beings. Type II citrullinemia is found in most patients with adult-onset citrullinemia in Japan, and ASS deficiency is found specifically in the liver. Previous studies have shown that the decrease of hepatic ASS activity is caused by a decrease in enzyme protein with normal kinetic properties and that there were no apparent abnormalities in the amount, translational activity, and gross structure of hepatic ASS mRNA. In the present work, we show by sequencing analysis that there was no mutation in the ASS mRNA from two patients with type II citrullinemia. We also report RFLP analysis of a consanguineous family with type II citrullinemia, by using three DNA polymorphisms located within the ASS gene locus. In spite of having consanguineous parents, the patient was not a homozygous haplotype for the ASS gene. The RFLP analysis of 16 affected patients from consanguineous parents showed that 5 of 16 patients had the heterozygous pattern for one of the three DNA probes and that the frequency of the heterozygous haplotype was not different from the control frequency. These results suggest that the primary defect of type II citrullinemia is not within the ASS gene locus.

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