Mutation spectrum in the French cohort of galactosemic patients and structural simulation of 27 novel missense variations

Mol Genet Metab. 2012 Nov;107(3):438-47. doi: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2012.07.025. Epub 2012 Aug 6.


Background: Classic galactosemia refers to galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) deficiency and is characterized by long-term complications of unknown mechanism and high allelic heterogeneity of GALT gene.

Aim: To report molecular characterization of GALT variations in 210 French families, to analyze the structural effects of novel missense variations and to assess informativity of structural data in predicting outcome.

Methods: Sequencing of exons and intron-exon junctions of GALT gene was completed in unsolved cases by analysis of a long range PCR product. Structural consequences of novel missense variations were predicted using a homology model of GALT protein and a semi-automated analysis which integrates simulation of variations, structural analyses and two web servers dedicated to identify mutation-induced change of protein stability.

Results: Forty four novel variations were identified, among them 27 nucleotide substitutions. In silico modeling of these missense variations showed that 12 variations are predicted to impair subunit interactions and/or active site conformation and that 23 variations modify H-bond or salt-bridge networks. Twenty variations decrease the global stability of the protein. Five variations had apparently no structural effect.

Conclusion: Our results expand the mutation spectrum in GALT gene and the list of GALT variations analyzed at the structural level, providing new data to assess the pathophysiology of galactosemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cohort Studies
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Exons
  • Female
  • France / epidemiology
  • Galactosemias / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Docking Simulation
  • Mutation*
  • Phenotype
  • Protein Stability
  • Protein Subunits / deficiency
  • Protein Subunits / genetics*
  • UTP-Hexose-1-Phosphate Uridylyltransferase / deficiency
  • UTP-Hexose-1-Phosphate Uridylyltransferase / genetics*


  • Protein Subunits
  • UTP-Hexose-1-Phosphate Uridylyltransferase