Mutational analysis of the xanthine dehydrogenase gene in a Turkish family with autosomal recessive classical xanthinuria

Nephrol Dial Transplant. 2003 Nov;18(11):2278-83. doi: 10.1093/ndt/gfg385.


Background: Classical xanthinuria is classified into two categories: type I, deficient only in xanthine dehydrogenase (XDH) activity; and type II, deficient in both XDH and aldehyde oxidase. Both types present mainly with renal stones and lead to renal failure in some cases. We studied the molecular basis of xanthinuria in a Turkish family with two affected siblings.

Methods: We examined two brothers aged 1 and 14 years who presented with histories of passing several urinary stones. We measured their serum and urine levels of uric acid and oxypurine, chemically analysed their stones and performed allopurinol loading tests to diagnose the type of xanthinuria. In addition, we studied the coding regions of the XDH gene in family members.

Results: In the siblings, serum uric acid was undetectable and serum oxypurine was elevated. Laboratory studies showed that the stones that they passed were composed of xanthine, and both were diagnosed as having classical xanthinuria. The allopurinol loading tests indicated their xanthinuria to be type I. Within the entire coding region of the XDH gene, an A to T base change at nucleotide position 2164 was identified in the siblings, indicating a nonsense substitution from AAG (Lys) to TAG (Tyr) at codon 722. Concerning this novel nonsense mutation, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) analysis showed that the brothers were both homozygous, while the parents were heterozygous, and this confirmed the autosomal recessive inheritance of the XDH gene mutation.

Conclusions: In a Turkish family, we identified a novel point mutation in the XDH gene responsible for classical type I xanthinuria. That both parents had a history of passing renal stones in spite of being heterozygous for that mutation may indicate that individuals with a heterozygous nonsense XDH mutation are more susceptible to nephrolithiasis than healthy individuals. This raises the point that individuals with a heterozygous XDH mutation may also present with renal stones.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Kidney Calculi / genetics*
  • Kidney Calculi / urine*
  • Male
  • Pedigree
  • Siblings
  • Turkey
  • Xanthine / urine*
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / deficiency*
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase / genetics*


  • Xanthine
  • Xanthine Dehydrogenase