Porphobilinogen deaminase gene structure and molecular defects
- Cite this article as:
- Deybach, J.C. & Puy, H. J Bioenerg Biomembr (1995) 27: 197. doi:10.1007/BF02110034
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Porphobilinogen deaminase (PBGD) is the third enzyme of the heme biosynthetic pathway. The half-normal activity of human PBGD causes acute intermittent porphyria (AIP), an autosomal dominant inherited disease. Two PBGD isoforms, one ubiquitous and one erythroid specific, are encoded by a single gene localized to chromosomal region 11q24.1-11q24.2. The 10-kb PBGD gene comprises 15 exons and two distinct promoters initiate the ubiquitous and the erythroid transcripts by alternative splicing. In AIP, diagnosis of asymptomatic heterozygotes is crucial to prevent occurrence of life-threatening acute attacks by avoiding known precipitating factors. Difficulties with the biochemical diagnosis could be overcome by the ability to identify the PBGD gene defects in AIP patients. Mutational analysis of the PBGD gene or the use of intragenic polymorphisms offer accurate identification of the gene carriers. To date, 58 mutations and 10 polymorphisms have been reported at the PBGD locus. The great heterogeneity of the mutations in AIP patients requires appropriate screening and diagnostic strategies to identify gene defects in AIP families.