• adenylate kinase deficiency;
  • chronic haemolytic anaemia;
  • erythrocyte metabolism;
  • nonsense mutation;
  • AK-1 gene

Two siblings of Italian origin with mild chronic haemolytic anaemia, psychomotor impairment and undetectable adenylate kinase (AK) activity are reported. The other red cell enzyme activities were normal except for a slight decrease of PFK. 2,3-DPG levels were increased in both siblings, and AMP decreased in one only. The parents were not consanguineous and displayed intermediate AK activity. The sequence of complete erythrocyte AK-1 cDNA showed the presence of a nonsense homozygous mutation at codon 107 (CGA → TGA, Arg → Stop) in the siblings. The mutation results in a truncated protein of 107 amino acids in comparison with the 194 of the normal one. Moreover a 37 bp deletion in the first part of exon 6 (from nt 326 to nt 362 of the cDNA sequence) was detected in one allele; this deletion is not likely to further affect the enzyme structure, being localized after the stop codon. The new variant was named AK Fidenza, from the origin of the patients.