Research Article| Volume 12, ISSUE 6, P558-565, August 2002

A G468-T AMPD1 mutant allele contributes to the high incidence of myoadenylate deaminase deficiency in the Caucasian population


      Myoadenylate deaminase deficiency is the most common metabolic disorder of skeletal muscle in the Caucasian population, affecting approximately 2% of all individuals. Although most deficient subjects are asymptomatic, some suffer from exercise-induced myalgia suggesting a causal relationship between a lack of enzyme activity and muscle function. In addition, carriers of this derangement in purine nucleotide catabolism may have an adaptive advantage related to clinical outcome in heart disease. The molecular basis of myoadenylate deaminase deficiency in Caucasians has been attributed to a single mutant allele characterized by double C to T transitions at nucleotides +34 and +143 in mRNA encoded by the AMPD1 gene. Polymerase chain reaction-based strategies have been developed to specifically identify this common mutant allele and are considered highly sensitive. Consequently, some laboratories preferentially use this technique over other available diagnostic tests for myoadenylate deaminase deficiency. We previously identified a G468-T mutation in one symptomatic patient who was only heterozygous for the common AMPD1 mutant allele. In this report, nine additional individuals with this compound heterozygous genotype are revealed in a survey of 48 patients with documented deficiency of skeletal muscle adenosine monophosphate deaminase and exercise-induced myalgia. Western blot analysis of leftover biopsy material from one of these individuals does not detect any immunoreactive myoadenylate deaminase polypeptide. Baculoviral expression of the G468-T mutant allele produces a Q156H substitution enzyme exhibiting labile catalytic activity. These combined results demonstrate that the G468-T transversion is dysfunctional and further indicate that AMPD1 alleles harboring this mutation contribute to the high incidence of partial and complete myoadenylate deaminase deficiency in the Caucasian population. Consequently, genetic tests for abnormal AMPD1 expression designed to diagnose patients with metabolic myopathy, and to evaluate genetic markers for clinical outcome in heart disease should not be based solely on the detection of a single mutant allele.


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