J Genet Med.  1998 Mar;2(1):17-22.

Molecular characterization and Prenatal Molecular Evaluation of three fetuses in four unrelated Korean families with Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, Ulsan University College of Medicine, Asan Institute for Life Sciences, Korea.


The Lesch-Nyhan syndrome which is caused by the deficiency of hypoxanthine guanine phosphoribosyltransferase is an X-linked recessive disorder characterized by hyperuricemia, choreoathetosis, mental retardation and compulsive self-injurious behavior. Clinical management of the patients with the Lesch-Nyhan syndrome is frustrating and requires burdensome medical treatment since it cripples the patient and shortens the life span by progression of neurological symptoms, but there are no cures or measures for relieving relentless natural course of the disease yet. Therefore, prenatal diagnosis of the affected fetus is important in genetic counselling for the family at high risk. In this study, four different mutations in the HPRT gene of four probands have been identified in four unrelated families; K215X, Q109X, nt.631 A, and nt.289 GT. Two mutations among them altered restriction enzyme sites; SpeI for Q109X and MaeI for nt.289 GT. Based on their molecular defects, prenatal diagnoses of 3 the fetuses were successfully made between ninth and eleventh week of gestation by polymerase chain reaction(PCR), restriction digestion and DNA sequencing using cDNA obtained from chorionic villus samples (CVS). We predicted the outcome of all fetuses prenatally. Among the three fetuses two were male and one was female according to the identification made by PCR amplification of the sex determining region of the Y chromosome(SRY) gene. Each carried a wild type allele for the corresponding mutant allele. They were also tested postnatally for the mutations to be unaffected.


Lesch-Nyhan syndrome; HPRT gene; Prenatal diagnosis; Mutation
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