Article

Genetic heterogeneity in primary hyperoxaluria type 1: impact on diagnosis

Department of Pediatrics, University of British Columbia - Vancouver, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 2.83). 09/2004; 83(1-2):38-46. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2004.08.009
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Primary hyperoxaluria type 1 (PH1) is an autosomal recessive disease characterized by progressive kidney failure due to renal deposition of calcium oxalate. The disease is caused by a deficiency of alanine:glyoxylate aminotransferase (AGT) which catalyzes the conversion of glyoxylate to glycine. When AGT is absent, glyoxylate is converted to oxalate which forms insoluble calcium salts that accumulate in the kidney and other organs. In the most common phenotype there is a unique phenomenon wherein AGT is mis-targeted to the mitochondria instead of the peroxisomes. The diagnosis of PH1 is complicated by heterogeneity of clinical presentation, course of the disease, biochemical markers, AGT enzymatic activity and genotype. More than 50 mutations and polymorphisms have been reported in the AGT gene; three common mutations accounting for almost 50% of PH1 alleles. The mutations are of all types, with missense making up the largest fraction. There are some mutations with apparent ethnic associations and at least one that appears to be pan-ethnic. Although correlations can in some cases be made between biochemical phenotype and genotype, correlation with clinical phenotype is complicated by the involvement of other genetic and non-genetic factors that affect disease severity. A number of polymorphisms have been described in the AGT gene some of which cause missense changes and, in some cases, alter enzyme activity. As DNA testing becomes more commonly used for diagnosis it is important to correlate observed sequence changes with previously documented changes as an aid to assessing their potential significance.

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