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Nat Genet. 1993 Jan;3(1):20-5.

Isolation of a partial candidate gene for Menkes disease by positional cloning.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Menkes disease is an X-linked recessive disorder of copper metabolism resulting in death in early infancy. The gene has been mapped to band Xq13 based, in part, on a translocation breakpoint in a female with the disease, which was found to lie within 300 kilobases (kb) of the PGK-1 locus, allowing the isolation of a YAC clone spanning the breakpoint. Phage subclones from the breakpoint region were isolated and used to screen cDNA libraries. cDNA clones were found which detect an 8 kb transcript from normal individuals but show diminished or absent hybridization in Menkes disease patients. Partial sequence of the cDNA shows a unique open reading frame containing putative metal binding motifs which have been found in heavy metal resistance genes in bacteria. This gene is a strong candidate for the Menkes disease gene.

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