Phenotypic and molecular biological analysis of human butyrylcholinesterase variants

B. N. La Du, C. F. Bartels, C. P. Nogueira, A. Hajra, H. Lightstone, A. van der Spek, O. Lockridge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

69 Scopus citations


Our laboratory has recently shown that several variant forms of human butyrylcholinesterase, associated with unusual sensitivity to succinylcholine, are caused by specific mutations within the structural DNA coding for this enzyme. Atypical (dibucaine-resistant) butyrylcholinesterase is caused by a point mutation at nucleotide position 209(GAT - > GGT), which changes aspartate 70 to glycine. One fluoride-resistant variant family has a point mutation at nucleotide 728(ACG - > ATG), which changes threonine 243 to methionine. Another type of fluoride-resistant variant has a point mutation at nucleotide 1169(GGT - > GTT), which changes glycine 390 to valine. One type of silent phenotype is due to a frame-shift mutation at nucleotide position 351(GGT - > GGAG). A polymorphic site at nucleotide position 1615 (GCATACA), coding for Ala/Thr, accounts for the quantitative K-variant, which causes an approximate one-third reduction of activity, if Thr occupies that position at codon 539. Examples are given to illustrate the advantages of using a combination of the new DNA analytical techniques, including: the use of allele-specific probes, with the standard serum cholinesterase phenotyping methods. More accurate typing of patients with certain variants is now possible; pedigree analysis will be aided by the improved methodology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-431
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Biochemistry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • K-variant
  • atypical variant
  • butyrylcholinesterase variants
  • fluoride variant
  • polymerase chain reaction
  • silent variant
  • structural DNA mutation
  • succinylcholine sensitivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry


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