Identification of mutations in the α-L-iduronidase gene (IDUA) that cause Hurler and Scheie syndromes

Hamish S. Scott, Tom Litjens, Paul V. Nelson, Phillip R. Thompson, Doug A. Brooks, John J. Hopwood, C. Phillip Morris

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Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS-I) is an autosomal recessive genetic disease caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal glycosidase α-L-iduronidase. Hurler (severe), Scheie (mild), and Hurler/Scheie (intermediate) syndromes are clinical subtypes of MPS-I, but it is difficult to distinguish between these subtypes by biochemical measurements. Mutation analysis was undertaken to provide a molecular explanation for the clinical variation seen in MPS-I. Using chemical cleavage and direct PCR sequencing, we have defined four previously undescribed mutations for MPS-I (delG1702, 1060+2t→c, R89Q, and 678-7g→a). R89Q and 678-7g→a were found to be present in 40% of Scheie syndrome alleles. Expression of R89Q demonstrated reduced stability and activity of the mutant protein. The deleterious effect of R89Q may be potentiated by a polymorphism (A361T) to produce an intermediate phenotype. 678-7g→a was found to be a mild mutation, since it was present in an index Scheie syndrome patient in combination with a severe allele (W402X). This mutation appears to allow a very small amount of normal mRNA to be produced from the allele which is likely to be responsible for the mild clinical phenotype observed. Both the 5′ and 3′ splice site mutations (1060+2t→c and 678-7g→a, respectively) result in high proportions of mature mRNAs containing introns, which has not been observed for other splicing mutations. The frameshift mutation (delG1702) and the 5′ splice site mutation (1060+2t→c) are both thought to be associated with severe MPS-I. The identification of these MPS-I mutations begins to document the expected genetic heterogeneity in MPS-I and provides the first molecular explanations for the broad range of clinical phenotypes observed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)973-986
Number of pages14
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Nov 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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