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

X-linked pyridoxine-responsive sideroblastic anemia due to a Thr388-to-Ser substitution in erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase.

BACKGROUND. X-linked sideroblastic anemia is usually associated with reduced 5-aminolevulinate synthase activity in erythroid cells, and some cases are responsive to treatment with pyridoxine, the precursor to the cofactor of the enzyme. The recently identified gene for an erythroid-specific 5-aminolevulinate synthase isoenzyme and its localization to the X chromosome make it likely that one or more defects in this gene underlie the anemia. METHODS. Using a polymorphic dinucleotide-repeat sequence in the erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase gene, we confirmed the linkage of this gene to the disorder in a family with X-linked pyridoxine-responsive sideroblastic anemia. We therefore sought evidence of a nucleotide-sequence abnormality in the erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase gene by analyzing enzymatically amplified DNA. RESULTS. DNA-sequencing studies in two affected males and one carrier female in the kindred demonstrated a cytosine-to-guanine change at nucleotide 1215 (in exon 8). This change results in the substitution of serine for threonine at amino acid residue 388, near the lysine that binds the pyridoxal phosphate cofactor. In expression studies, the activity of the mutant enzyme was reduced relative to that of the wild type, and this reduction was comparable to that in erythroid cells of the proband during relapse of the anemia; the enzyme activity expressed in the presence of pyridoxine was comparable to that in the proband's marrow cells during remission. Although the affinity of the mutant enzyme for pyridoxal phosphate was not altered, the mutation appears to introduce a conformational change at the active site of the enzyme. CONCLUSIONS. We identified a point mutation resulting in an amino acid change near the pyridoxal phosphate-binding site of the erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase isoenzyme as the underlying defect in a kindred with X-linked pyridoxine-responsive sideroblastic anemia.[1]


  1. X-linked pyridoxine-responsive sideroblastic anemia due to a Thr388-to-Ser substitution in erythroid 5-aminolevulinate synthase. Cox, T.C., Bottomley, S.S., Wiley, J.S., Bawden, M.J., Matthews, C.S., May, B.K. N. Engl. J. Med. (1994) [Pubmed]
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