Holocarboxylase synthetase deficiency (HCS) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by metabolic ketoacidosis, abnormal urine organic metabolites, and dermatitis. These symptoms are improved by pharmacological doses of biotin. In this study, we have analyzed seven patients with HCS deficiency found in European and Middle Eastern countries by using reverse transcription/polymerase chain reaction/single-stranded conformation poly morphism and a sequencing analysis. Although we had previously reported that two mutations were frequent in Japanese patients, no frequent mutations were found in the patients analyzed in this study. Seven novel mutations were identified in the cDNA of the patients; these included three missense mutations, two single-base deletions that resulted in a termination codon, a three-base in-frame deletion, and a 68-bp deletion. A new polymorphism C1121T was also identified in four alleles. A transient expression study demonstrated that the HCS activities of three missense mutations and one amino acid deletion were 1%-14% that of wild-type cDNA; in contrast, the activities of the two single-base deletions followed by a termination codon and Asp571Asn were nearly undetectable. These data suggest that a variety of mutations is responsible for decreasing HCS activity and that the aspartate residue at amino acid position 571 may be crucial for the catalytic activity of HCS.
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