Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an important error of amino acid metabolism which results in most patients from phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) deficiency. PKU displays a marked genotypic heterogeneity both within and between different populations. The aim of this study was to establish the genotypic spectrum of PKU in eastern Germany, and to compare this to the distribution of mutations in western Germany. The study population included 302 patients in 290 families who were followed at treatment centers in Berlin, Leipzig and Jena. The study showed marked genotypic variability with a total of 75 mutations, including 15 that have so far not been described (eleven missense mutations, one splicing mutation, and three small deletions). One of these novel mutations, E183Q, occurred in cis to a R408W mutation. In the non-immigrant eastern German population, the frequency of R408W accounted for 40.1% of the PKU alleles. In the immigrant Turkish population of the former West Berlin, the most prevalent mutation was IVS10-11G>A (57%). There was a marked difference of the genotypic spectrum between the population studied here and the data reported from the western part of the country.
Copyright 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.