Congenital generalized lipodystrophy (CGL), Berardinelli-Seip syndrome, is a rare metabolic disorder characterized by a near total lack of adipose tissue from birth or early infancy. Recently, seipin, encoding a 398-amino acid protein of unknown function, and AGPAT2, encoding 1-acyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase 2, were identified as causative genes for CGL. Seipin mutations were found in patients from families originating from Europe and the Middle East. AGPAT2 mutations were found predominantly in African ancestry. However, no information is available on these genes in the pathogenesis of CGL in Asian ancestry. We examined the sequences of the entire coding region of seipin and AGPAT2 in four Japanese CGL patients from independent families. Their average body fat content was 4.7 ± 0.5%, and the plasma leptin level was 1.15 ± 0.14 ng/ml. We identified a novel nonsense mutation of seipin at codon 275 (R275X). Of four CGL patients, three were homozygous for R275X. No seipin mutation was found in any exon in one patient. We did not find any AGPAT2 mutations in our Japanese patients, suggesting that AGPAT2 is a minor causative gene, if any, for CGL in Japanese. This is the first report on gene and phenotype analysis of CGL in Japanese.
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