Radiochemical assay of minute quantities of galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase activity in erythrocytes and leukocytes of galactosemia patients.Clin Chim Acta. 1995 Mar 31; 235(2):125-36.CC
A sensitive radioisotopic method has been developed which can detect galactose-1-phosphate uridyltransferase (GALT) activity as low as 0.1% of normal control values in both erythrocytes and leukocytes. This assay utilizes carbon-14 labeled galactose-1-phosphate with high specific activity and requires removal of endogenous galactose-1-phosphate (Gal-1-P) and uridine diphosphate glucose (UDPGlc) through dialysis. Optimal exogenous UDPGlc concentration has been determined with a fixed concentration of Gal-1-P in the incubation. The rate of product, uridine diphosphate galactose (UDPGal), formation is monitored at three different times. Among 423 patients with galactosemia studied by this method, 363 patients exhibited no detectable GALT activity in their erythrocytes and 60 patients were found to have detectable erythrocyte GALT activity ranging from 0.02 to 5.0 units normal values: > 20 units). The former group of patients was designated as classic galactosemia (GG) and the latter group as galactosemia variant (GV). Leucocytes from ten patients belonging to the GG group also showed complete absence of GALT activity while leukocytes from two patients belonging to the GV group showed GALT activity at levels comparable with those found in their erythrocytes. Because there is extensive biochemical heterogeneity among galactosemia patients, we recommend that an assay with increase sensitivity be carried out on blood samples from galactosemia patients so that clinical, biochemical and molecular correlations made by different groups of investigators can be compared.