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Arch Biochem Biophys. 1996 Apr 1;328(1):101-6.

Expression of mRNAs for lysyl oxidase and type III procollagen in cultured fibroblasts from patients with the Menkes and occipital horn syndromes as determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction.

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Collagen Research Unit, Department of Medical Biochemistry, University of Oulu, Finland.


The Menkes syndrome and the occipital horn syndrome are two X-linked recessively inherited disorders characterized by abnormalities in copper metabolism. These abnormalities are associated with a reduction in the activity of lysyl oxidase (EC, an extracellular copper enzyme that initiates the crosslinking of collagens and elastin. We report here that the amount of lysyl oxidase mRNA, as studied by Northern blotting, and the number of lysyl oxidase mRNA molecules per picogram of RNA, as determined by a quantitative PCR method, were decreased in three cultured skin fibroblast lines from patients with the Menkes syndrome and two from patients with the occipital horn syndrome compared with four control cell lines. The decreased lysyl oxidase activity found in these disorders thus appears to be a least in part due to a pretranslational mechanism. No decrease was found in the number of the beta-actin mRNA molecules in the Menkes cell lines, but rather a slight increase, whereas a decrease was found in these molecules in the occipital horn cell lines. An additional abnormality found in the Menkes cell lines was a significant increase in the number of mRNA molecules for type III procollagen in two of the three cell lines investigated. The present and previous data indicate that the Menkes syndrome may involve several abnormalities in the expression of genes for connective tissue proteins.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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