Maple Syrup Urine Disease - Genetic Prevalence

Genetic Prevalence

Maple syrup urine disease affects approximately 1 out of 180,000 infants. Due in part to the founder effect, however, MSUD has a much higher prevalence in children of Amish, Mennonite, and Jewish descent.

Mutations in the following genes cause maple syrup urine disease:

  • BCKDHA (Online 'Mendelian Inheritance in Man' (OMIM) 608348)
  • BCKDHB (Online 'Mendelian Inheritance in Man' (OMIM) 248611)
  • DBT (Online 'Mendelian Inheritance in Man' (OMIM) 248610)
  • DLD (Online 'Mendelian Inheritance in Man' (OMIM) 238331)

These four genes produce proteins that work together as the branched-chain alpha-keto acid dehydrogenase complex. The complex is essential for breaking down the amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, which are present in many kinds of food (in particular, protein-rich foods such as milk, meat, and eggs). Mutations in any of these genes reduce or eliminate the function of the enzyme complex, preventing the normal breakdown of isoleucine, leucine, and valine. As a result, these amino acids and their by-products build up in the body. Because high levels of these substances are toxic to the brain and other organs, this accumulation leads to the serious medical problems associated with maple syrup urine disease.

This condition has an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern, which means the defective gene is located on an autosome, and two copies of the gene - one from each parent - must be inherited to be affected by the disorder. The parents of a child with an autosomal recessive disorder are carriers of one copy of the defective gene, but are usually not affected by the disorder.

Read more about this topic:  Maple Syrup Urine Disease

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