Dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD) catabolizes endogenous pyrimidines and pyrimidine-based antimetabolite drugs. A deficiency in human DPD is associated with congenital thymine-uraciluria in pediatric patients and severe 5-fluorouracil toxicity in cancer patients. The dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase gene (DPYD) was isolated, and its physical map and exon-intron organization were determined by analysis of P1, PAC, BAC, and YAC clones. The DPYD gene was found to contain 23 exons ranging in size from 69 bp (exon 15) to 961 bp (exon 23). A physical map derived from a YAC clone indicated that DPYD is at least 950 kb in length with 3 kb of coding sequence and an average intron size of about 43 kb. The previously reported 5' donor splice site mutation present in pediatric thymine-uraciluria and cancer patients can now be assigned to exon 14. All 23 exons were sequenced from a series of human DNA samples, and three point mutations were identified in three racial groups as G1601A (exon 13, Ser534Asn), A1627G (exon 13, Ile543Val), and G2194A (exon 18, Val732Ile). These studies, which have established that the DPYD gene is unusually large, lay a framework for uncovering new mutations that are responsible for thymine-uraciluria and toxicity to fluoropyrimidine drugs.
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