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Hum Mutat. 1997;10(1):25-35.

Identification of mutations causing 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase deficiency in four Italian families.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, University of Zürich, Switzerland.


6-Pyruvoyl-tetrahydrobiopterin synthase (PTPS) is involved in tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) biosynthesis, the cofactor for various enzymes including the hepatic phenylalanine hydroxylase. Inherited PTPS deficiency leads to BH4 depletion, causes hyperphenylalaninemia, and requires cofactor replacement therapy for treatment. We previously isolated the human PTPS cDNA and recently characterized its corresponding gene, PTS. Here we developed PCR-based mutation analysis with newly designed primers to detect genomic alterations and describe five mutations, four of which are novel, in the PTS gene of four Italian families with affected individuals. The mutant alleles found included three missense mutations (T67M, K129E, D136V), a previously described triplet deletion (delta V57), and a single c-3-->g transversion in the 3'-acceptor splice site of intron 1, leading to cryptic splice site usage that resulted in a 12 bp deletion (mutant allele delta (K29-S32)). Except for K129E, all mutant alleles were inactive and/or unstable proteins, as shown by recombinant expression and Western blot analysis of patients' fibroblasts. The PTPS-deficient patient with the homozygous K129E allele had transient hyperphenylalaninemia, did not depend on BH4 replacement therapy, and showed normal PTPS immunoreactivity, but no enzyme activity in primary fibroblasts and red blood cells. In contrast to its inactivity in these cells, the K129E mutant was 2-3 fold more active than wild-type PTPS when transfected into COS-1 or the human hepatoma cell line Hep G2. K129E appears thus as a mutant PTPS whose activity depends on the cell type.

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