Molecular characterisation of phenylketonuria in a Chinese mainland population using next-generation sequencing

Sci Rep. 2015 Oct 27;5:15769. doi: 10.1038/srep15769.


Phenylketonuria (PKU) is an inherited autosomal recessive disorder of phenylalanine metabolism, mainly caused by a deficiency of phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH). The incidence of various PAH mutations differs among race and ethnicity. Here we report a spectrum of PAH mutations complied from 796 PKU patients from mainland China. The all 13 exons and adjacent intronic regions of the PAH gene were determined by next-generation sequencing. We identified 194 different mutations, of which 41 are not reported before. Several mutations reoccurred with high frequency including p.R243Q, p.EX6-96A > G, p.V399V, p.R241C, p.R111*, p.Y356*, p.R413P, and IVS4-1G > A. 76.33% of mutations were localized in exons 3, 6, 7, 11, 12. We further compared the frequency of each mutation between populations in northern and southern China, and found significant differences in 19 mutations. Furthermore, we identified 101 mutations that are not reported before in Chinese population, our study thus broadens the mutational spectrum of Chinese PKU patients. Additionally, 41 novel mutations will expand and improve PAH mutation database. Finally, our study offers proof that NGS is effective, reduces screening times and costs, and facilitates the provision of appropriate genetic counseling for PKU patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Asian Continental Ancestry Group / genetics*
  • Child, Preschool
  • China
  • DNA / chemistry*
  • DNA / isolation & purification
  • Exons
  • Female
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Introns
  • Male
  • Phenotype
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase / genetics*
  • Phenylketonurias / genetics*
  • Phenylketonurias / pathology
  • Polymorphism, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • DNA
  • Phenylalanine Hydroxylase