The Lebanese allele at the low density lipoprotein receptor locus. Nonsense mutation produces truncated receptor that is retained in endoplasmic reticulum

M. A. Lehrman, W. J. Schneider, M. S. Brown, C. G. Davis, A. Elhammer, D. W. Russell, J. L. Goldstein

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We here describe a mutant low density lipoprotein receptor gene that produces a shortened receptor protein lacking three domains: the region of clustered O-linked carbohydrates, the membrane-spanning region, and the cytoplasmic tail. The defect is attributable to a single nucleotide substitution that creates a premature termination codon at amino acid 660, eliminating 180 residues from the mature protein. The truncated protein retains only two domains: a complete ligand-binding region (residues 1-292) and a partial epidermal growth factor precursor homology region (residues 293-659). The termination codon occurs in the middle of a cysteine-rich sequence that is part of the epidermal growth factor precursor domain. The mutant protein is present in markedly reduced amounts and may be translated at a reduced rate. After synthesis, most of the receptor remains within the cell for several hours with its N-linked carbohydrate in an unprocessed endoglycosidase H-sensitive form. This finding suggests that the shortened receptor leaves the endoplasmic reticulum at an abnormally slow rate, which is likely attributable to abnormal folding of the truncated protein. The mutation creates a new restriction site for the enzyme HinfI, thus permitting diagnosis by Southern blotting of genomic DNA. Two copies of this mutant gene were present in each of four unrelated Arab patients with homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (three from Lebanon and one from Syria). We believe that this mutation, hereafter referred to as the 'Lebanese allele' is responsible for the extraordinarily high incidence of familial hypercholesterolemia in Lebanon.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-410
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1987


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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