Somatic cell hybridization studies on the genetic regulation and allelic mutations in metachromatic leukodystrophy
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Metachromatic leukodystrophy is a hereditary neurodegenerative disease associated with deficient arylsulfatase A activity. Clinical variants differ in onset times and severity of the disease but each breeds true within families. Somatic cell hybridization techniques were used to clarify the genetic relationship among these mutants. Hybrid clones isolated with a nonselective method from fusing fibroblasts of an infantile and a juvenile variant did not show complementation of arylsulfatase A activity. Hence, these clinical variants are allelic mutants. Previous somatic cell hybridization studies suggested that "arylsulfatase A-deficiency" is a dominant phenotype, in contrast to its apparent recessive mode of inheritance. To resolve this discrepancy, hybrid clones from fusing normal and arylsulfatase A-deficient fibroblasts were isolated nonselectively. They continued to express arylsulfatase A activity. Hence, even in vitro, "arylsulfatase A-deficiency" remains as a recessive phenotype.
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