Mutations and polymorphisms in the human argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1) gene

Hum Mutat. 2009 Mar;30(3):300-7. doi: 10.1002/humu.20847.


Citrullinemia type I is an autosomal recessive disorder that is caused by a deficiency of the urea cycle enzyme argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS1). Deficiency of ASS1 shows various clinical manifestations encompassing severely affected patients with fatal neonatal hyperammonemia as well as asymptomatic individuals with only a biochemical phenotype. This is a comprehensive report of all 87 mutations found to date in the ASS1 gene on chromosome 9q34.1. A large proportion of the mutations (n=27) are described here for the first time. Mutations are distributed throughout exons 3 to 15, most of them being identified in exons 5, 12, 13, and 14. The mutation G390R in exon 15 is the single most common mutation in patients with the classical phenotype. Certain mutations clearly link to specific clinical courses but the clinical phenotype cannot be anticipated in all patients. This update presents a survey of the correlation between mutations in the ASS1 gene and the respective clinical courses as described so far. It also sheds light on the geographic incidence of the mutations. Enzymatic studies have been done in bacterial and human cell systems. However, the prognostic value of genetic aberrations with respect to their effect on protein function and clinical manifestation remains uncertain.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Argininosuccinate Synthase / genetics*
  • Citrullinemia / diagnosis
  • Citrullinemia / genetics
  • Humans
  • Hyperammonemia / diagnosis
  • Hyperammonemia / genetics
  • Mutation*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Polymorphism, Genetic*
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide


  • Argininosuccinate Synthase