A defect of the dolichyl-P-Man:Man5GlcNAc2-PP-dolichyl mannosyltransferase encoded by the ALG3 gene (alias NOT56L) causes congenital disorder of glycosylation type Id (CDG-Id). In this work, a new mutation in the ALG3 gene causing atypical splicing is described with characterization of expression levels and transcript stabilities of the different splice products. A silent mutation in exon 1 of the ALG3 gene (c.165C<T) resulted in a deletion in the corresponding transcripts (c.160_196del) due to the activation of a cryptic donor splice site. Expression studies revealed that negligible amounts of normal transcripts were present in the patient. The deletion in the ALG3 gene generated a premature termination codon (PTC) coding for an ALG3 protein truncated after the first N-terminal transmembranous domain (p.Val54fsX66). Nonsense mediated decay (NMD) of mRNA is a general mechanism for clearing of RNA molecules containing suitable PTCs. However, suppression of NMD using cycloheximide had no influence on ALG3 transcript levels, although the PTCs of the transcript fulfill the criteria for the initiation of NMD. The results presented in this work demonstrate that factors abrogating NMD of the ALG3 gene exists and that the ALG3 gene can serve as a valuable tool for further investigations of the regulation of NMD.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.