Random nucleotide substitutions in primate nonfunctional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase, the missing enzyme in L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis

Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Oct 18;1472(1-2):408-11. doi: 10.1016/s0304-4165(99)00123-3.


Humans and other primates have no functional gene for L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase that catalyzes the last step of L-ascorbic acid biosynthesis. The 164-nucleotide sequence of exon X of the gene was compared among human, chimpanzee, orangutan, and macaque, and it was found that nucleotide substitutions had occurred at random throughout the sequence with a single nucleotide deletion, indicating that the primate L-gulono-gamma-lactone oxidase genes are a typical example of pseudogene.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Ascorbic Acid / biosynthesis*
  • Base Sequence
  • DNA
  • Humans
  • L-Gulonolactone Oxidase
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation*
  • Sequence Homology, Nucleic Acid
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases / genetics*


  • DNA
  • Sugar Alcohol Dehydrogenases
  • L-Gulonolactone Oxidase
  • Ascorbic Acid

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AB025719
  • GENBANK/AB025786
  • GENBANK/AB025787