Immunological, enzymatic and biochemical studies of uroporphyrinogen III-synthase deficiency in 20 patients with congenital erythropoietic porphyria.

Congenital erythropoietic porphyria (CEP), a rare autosomal recessive inborn error of heme biosynthesis, results from reduced activity of uroporphyrinogen III synthase (URO-III-S) leading to an excessive production and accumulation of porphyrins. Various clinical and biochemical observations point to a relationship between degree of disease expression and metabolic disturbance. We investigated 20 patients with early onset of clinical symptoms of CEP and, additionally, the relatives of six patients. CEP was confirmed by porphyrinemia and porphyrinuria with dominance of uroporphyrin and its isomer I. The investigation of the immunological nature of the defective URO-III-S gene from unrelated patients with unknown mutations was possible thanks to an antibody against the human enzyme. URO-III-S concentration in erythrocytes was determined by ELISA. No signal was achieved when assaying nonimmune serum by ELISA, whereas there was a positive reaction with the serum after immunisation. Furthermore, specificity of immune sera is demonstrated by immunoprecipitation of URO-III-S activity which caused a 33% reduction of enzyme activity. Normal levels of immunoreactive enzyme protein 100+/-10% of control (x +/- SD, n = 12) with a reduced specific activity 15+/-8.5% (x +/- SD, n = 12) were found in erythrocytes from all patients, with the exception of a girl with a remarkably high enzyme concentration of 149% of controls and a very low specific activity of 4%. In consequence, all patients had cross-reacting immunological material (CRIM)-positive mutations. CRIM-ratios varied between 3.2 and 24.5. The CRIM-positive nature of the gene defect indicated that the mutations altered the activity of URO-III-S. The different CRIM ratios implied the presence of various mutations, which is further evidence for the heterogeneity in the genetic defect found in CEP. URO-III-S activity was determined in erythrocyte lysates by a coupled enzyme assay. Erythrocyte URO-III-S activities of patients were reduced to 4-33% of the normal value (1.72+/-0.14 pkat/mg protein). An increase of urinary coproporphyrin isomer I (40-61%, norm = 17-31%) and a halved URO-III-S activity can serve as a biochemical test for asymptomatic heterozygous gene carriers of CEP.
AuthorsA G Freesemann, U Gross, M Bensidhoum, H de Verneuil, M O Doss
JournalEuropean journal of biochemistry / FEBS (Eur J Biochem) Vol. 257 Issue 1 Pg. 149-53 (Oct 1 1998) ISSN: 0014-2956 [Print] GERMANY
PMID9799113 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay
  • Erythrocytes (enzymology)
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Porphyria, Erythropoietic (enzymology, immunology, metabolism)

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