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Ataxia caused by mutations in the α-tocopherol transfer protein gene


A 48 year old woman with ataxia with vitamin E deficiency is described. Gene analysis identified two point mutations in exon 1 of the α-tocopherol transfer protein (α-TTP) gene, one missense mutation and an upstream initiation codon mutation in the 5′-untranslated region (Kozak sequence). The latter mutation is the first one identified in the translation regulatory region. This mutation decreased the level of α-TTP protein expression. The clinical features included uncommon urinary disturbance and deafness and relatively rare retinitis pigmentosa. Supplementary therapy increased her serum vitamin E concentration to the normal range with mild improvement of the deep senses.

  • ataxia with vitamin E deficiency
  • α-tocopherol transfer protein gene
  • Kozak sequence
  • translation

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