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Research Article

Genetic heterogeneity in the cerebrohepatorenal (Zellweger) syndrome and other inherited disorders with a generalized impairment of peroxisomal functions. A study using complementation analysis.

S Brul, A Westerveld, A Strijland, R J Wanders, A W Schram, H S Heymans, R B Schutgens, H van den Bosch and J M Tager

Laboratory of Biochemistry, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Published June 1988

We have used complementation analysis after somatic cell fusion to investigate the genetic relationships among various genetic diseases in humans in which there is a simultaneous impairment of several peroxisomal functions. The activity of acyl-coenzyme A:dihydroxyacetonephosphate acyltransferase, which is deficient in these diseases, was used as an index of complementation. In some of these diseases peroxisomes are deficient and catalase is present in the cytosol, so that the appearance of particle-bound catalase could be used as an index of complementation. The cell lines studied can be divided into at least five complementation groups. Group 1 is represented by a cell line from a patient with the rhizomelic form of chondrodysplasia punctata. Group 2 consists of cell lines from four patients with the Zellweger syndrome, a patient with the infantile form of Refsum disease and a patient with hyperpipecolic acidemia. Group 3 comprises one cel line from a patient with the Zellweger syndrome, group 4 one cell line from a patient with the neonatal form of adrenoleukodystrophy, and group 5 one cell line from a patient with the Zellweger syndrome. We conclude that at least five genes are required for the assembly of a functional peroxisome.

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