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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Partial rescue of human carbonic anhydrase II frameshift mutation by ribosomal frameshift.

A single-base-pair deletion in exon 7 of the human carbonic anhydrase II gene was found to be the molecular defect in a group of independently ascertained, clinically heterogeneous, Hispanic carbonic anhydrase II-deficient patients, all of whom had ancestors from the Caribbean islands. This mutation predicts a +1 frameshift at codon 227 and incorporation of 12 missense amino acids before an early stop codon at position 239 produces a 27-kDa truncated carbonic anhydrase II. Expression of the Hispanic mutant cDNA in bacteria produced predominantly the 27-kDa protein, which was inactive. However, a minor 29-kDa polypeptide species was also produced that had 10% the specific activity of the wild-type enzyme after affinity purification. Amino acid sequencing showed that the 29-kDa mutant protein was produced by two frameshift events: a +1 frameshift at codon 227 due to the single-base deletion and a -1 ribosomal frameshift at codon 237 that restored the original reading frame after 11 missense amino acids were incorporated. Antibody against the 11-amino acid frameshift peptide detected the 29-kDa mutant protein in lysates of transfected COS cells. These results indicate that ribosomal frameshift can partially rescue the human carbonic anhydrase II frameshift mutation and suggest a mechanism whereby a compensatory ribosomal frameshift can ameliorate the consequences of certain frameshift mutations. Whether individual differences in efficiency of ribosomal frameshift contribute to clinical heterogeneity in patients with such mutations deserves further study.[1]


  1. Partial rescue of human carbonic anhydrase II frameshift mutation by ribosomal frameshift. Hu, P.Y., Waheed, A., Sly, W.S. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (1995) [Pubmed]
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