Cytochrome b5 reductase (b5R) deficiency manifests itself in 2 distinct ways. In methemoglobinemia type I, the patients only suffer from cyanosis, whereas in type II, the patients suffer in addition from severe mental retardation and neurologic impairment. Biochemical data indicate that this may be due to a difference in mutations, causing enzyme instability in type I and complete enzyme deficiency or enzyme inactivation in type II. We have investigated 7 families with methemoglobulinemia type I and found 7 novel mutations in the b5R gene. Six of these mutations predicted amino acid substitutions at sites not involved in reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NADH) or flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) binding, as deduced from a 3-dimensional model of human b5R. This model was constructed from comparison with the known 3-dimensional structure of pig b5R. The seventh mutation was a splice site mutation leading to skipping of exon 5 in messenger RNA, present in heterozygous form in a patient together with a missense mutation on the other allele. Eight other amino acid substitutions, previously described to cause methemoglobinemia type I, were also situated in nonessential regions of the enzyme. In contrast, 2 other substitutions, known to cause the type II form of the disease, were found to directly affect the consensus FAD-binding site or indirectly influence NADH binding. Thus, these data support the idea that enzyme inactivation is a cause of the type II disease, whereas enzyme instability may lead to the type I form.
|Journal||Blood : journal of the American Society of Hematology|
|Publication status||Published - 2001|