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Hum Mutat. 1993;2(3):174-8.

Mutations and polymorphisms in the human ornithine transcarbamylase gene.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis 55455.


Deletions of variable size involving one or more exons, 29 different missense, nonsense, or frameshift mutations, and three polymorphisms have been found in patients with ornithine transcarbamylase (OTC) deficiency. Most of the deletions and mutations were found in patients with severe disease manifested clinically as acute neonatal hyperammonemia. A small number of mutations or somatic mosaicism for deletions were found in males with "late onset" disease and heterozygous females who were symptomatic. Approximately 10-15% of all molecular alterations associated with OTC deficiency are large deletions involving all or part of the OTC gene with or without contiguous genes on the short arm of the X chromosome. Approximately 10% of all point mutations involve the CpG dinucleotide of codon 141 with a CGA-->CAA transition producing a deleterious Arg-->Gln substitution in position 109 of the mature enzyme and causing the elimination of a TaqI recognition site. The majority of the remaining mutations in the OTC gene are unique to the affected family and are usually not found in unrelated patients. To date, two mutations have been described in the sequence of the "leader" peptide, 23 mutations have been found in the coding sequence of the "mature" enzyme, and four mutations have been discovered in splicing recognition sites. Approximately 20 single base polymorphisms have been postulated to exist by comparing two reported OTC gene sequences; six of these substitutions cause amino acid changes of which three have been confirmed in patients. Of the known point mutations, 27 are single base substitutions: 17 missense, 6 nonsense, 4 splice site, and the remaining 2 are single base deletions.

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