Mutation of a nuclear respiratory factor 2 binding site in the 5' untranslated region of the ADSL gene in three patients with adenylosuccinate lyase deficiency

Am J Hum Genet. 2002 Jul;71(1):14-21. doi: 10.1086/341036. Epub 2002 May 9.


Adenylosuccinate lyase (ADSL; also called "adenylosuccinase") catalyzes two steps in the synthesis of purine nucleotides: (1) the conversion of succinylaminoimidazolecarboxamide ribotide into aminoimidazolecarboxamide ribotide and (2) the conversion of adenylosuccinate into adenosine monophosphate. ADSL deficiency, a recessively inherited disorder, causes variable-but most often severe-mental retardation, frequently accompanied by epilepsy and/or autism. It is characterized by the accumulation, in body fluids, of succinylaminoimidazolecarboxamide riboside and succinyladenosine, the dephosphorylated derivatives of the two substrates of the enzyme. Analysis of the ADSL gene of three unrelated patients with ADSL deficiency, in whom one of the ADSL alleles displayed a normal coding sequence, revealed a -49T-->C mutation in the 5' untranslated region of this allele. Measurements of the amount of mRNA transcribed from the latter allele showed that it was reduced to approximately 33% of that transcribed from the alleles mutated in their coding sequence. Further investigations showed that the -49T-->C mutation provokes a reduction to 25% of wild-type control of promoter function, as evaluated by luciferase activity and mRNA level in transfection experiments. The mutation also affects the binding of nuclear respiratory factor 2 (NRF-2), a known activator of transcription, as assessed by gel-shift studies. Our findings indicate that a mutation of a regulatory region of the ADSL gene might be an unusually frequent cause of ADSL deficiency, and they suggest a role for NRF-2 in the gene regulation of the purine biosynthetic pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / chemistry
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / deficiency*
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / genetics*
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / metabolism
  • Alleles
  • Base Sequence
  • Binding Sites / genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA, Complementary / genetics
  • DNA-Binding Proteins / metabolism*
  • Epilepsy / enzymology
  • Epilepsy / genetics
  • Female
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / enzymology
  • Intellectual Disability / genetics
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Mutation*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • 5' Untranslated Regions
  • DNA, Complementary
  • DNA-Binding Proteins
  • GA-Binding Protein Transcription Factor
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Transcription Factors
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/AF106656
  • GENBANK/X65867
  • OMIM/103050