Genetic basis of galactosemia.Hum Mutat. 1992; 1(3):190-6.HM
Classic galactosemia is an inborn error of galactose metabolism and results from deficiency of the ubiquitously expressed enzyme galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT). Nine missense mutations, three splicing mutations, three GALT protein polymorphisms, and one silent nucleotide substitution have been identified to date. Most of the disease-causing mutations are rare among patients. The most common mutation, Q188R, has a frequency of only one-fourth in the patient population examined. Three classes of disease-causing mutations have been reported: CRM+ missense mutations (the most common class), CRM- missense mutations, and splicing mutations. Thus, galactosemia is heterogeneous at the molecular level, which is noteworthy in light of the well-documented clinical variability observed in this disorder. It has also been shown that eight of nine galactosemia missense mutations occur in evolutionarily well-conserved domains, suggesting that they affect functionally and/or structurally important residues. In contrast, all protein polymorphisms alter variable amino acids which presumably are not important for the enzyme's function.