The molecular basis of phenylketonuria in Lithuania

Hum Mutat. 2003 Apr;21(4):398. doi: 10.1002/humu.9113.


We report the spectrum of phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene mutations in patients with phenylketonuria (PKU) residing in Lithuania. A total of 184 independent chromosomes was investigated. R408W mutation was first analysed through restriction enzyme digestion of exon 12. The remaining uncharacterised PKU chromosomes were analysed by scanning the whole coding sequence of PAH gene by multiplex 'broad range' denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis. Mutations were identified by fluorescent automated sequencing or by restriction enzyme digestion analysis if an abnormal DGGE pattern was recognised. 21 different mutations were identified for 175 PKU chromosomes, with a mutation detection rate of 95%. The most common ones were R408W (73.5% chromosomes) and R158Q (7.0% chromosomes) whereas the remaining mutations appeared to be rare (relative frequencies 0.5%-2%). The high mutation detection rate obtained is an evidence of the efficiency of PAH genetic testing achieved in Lithuania. Moreover, the definition of the PKU mutation profile in the Lithuanian population will allow to perform a genotype-phenotype correlation study thus making feasible genotyped-based prediction of the biochemical phenotype in newborns with hyperphenylalaninemia. This may be useful for refining diagnosis and anticipating dietary requirements.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Substitution / genetics
  • Female
  • Genetic Testing / methods
  • Genetic Testing / statistics & numerical data
  • Genetics, Population / methods
  • Genetics, Population / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Lithuania / epidemiology
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase / genetics
  • Phenylketonurias / enzymology
  • Phenylketonurias / epidemiology*
  • Phenylketonurias / genetics*


  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase