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J Neurol Sci. 1997 Dec 9;153(1):46-9.

Familial ALS is associated with mutations in all exons of SOD1: a novel mutation in exon 3 (Gly72Ser).

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Department of Biochemistry, Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School, Charing Cross Hospital, London, UK.


Mutations of the SOD1 gene, which encodes the enzyme copper/zinc superoxide dismutase, are associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). SOD1 consists of five exons, and over 50 different mutations have been described involving exons 1,2,4 and 5. The absence of mutations in exon 3 has been attributed to a critical function of this exon, its integrity being necessary for the toxic effect of mutant SOD1, and it has been suggested that such mutations may be lethal rather than leading to adult onset disease. We identified the heterozygote mutation Gly72Ser (exon 3) in a family with two individuals affected by ALS. SOD enzyme activity was reduced by 45% when measured in erythrocytes indicating reduced enzyme activity, or reduced stability of the mutant protein. These findings indicate that exon 3 is not a privileged region from mutation; that all five exons should be investigated when seeking SOD1 mutations in human disease; and may help in a better understanding of the pathogenicity of these mutations in ALS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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