The molecular basis of Sanfilippo syndrome type B

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The Sanfilippo syndrome type B is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase; it is characterized by profound mental deterioration in childhood and death in the second decade. For understanding the molecular genetics of the disease and for future development of DNA-based therapy, we have cloned the cDNA and gene encoding alpha-N-acetylglucosaminidase. Cloning started with purification of the bovine enzyme and use of a conserved oligonucleotide sequence to probe a human cDNA library. The cDNA sequence was found to encode a protein of 743 amino acids, with a 20- to 23-aa signal peptide immediately preceding the amino terminus of the tissue enzyme and with six potential N-glycosylation sites. The 8.5-kb gene (NAGLU), interrupted by 5 introns, was localized to the 5'-flanking sequence of a known gene, EDH17B, on chromosome 17q21. Five mutations were identified in cells of patients with Sanfilippo syndrome type B: 503del10, R297X, R626X, R643H, and R674H. The occurrence of a frameshift and a nonsense mutation in homozygous form confirms the identity of the NAGLU gene.


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  • Dermatology and Venereal Diseases
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6101-6105
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes