The size of the mutant N-acetylglucosamine 1-phosphotransferase in Golgi membranes from fibroblasts of patients with I-cell disease and classical pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy, which comprised one complementation group characterized by deficiency towards both artificial and natural acceptor substrates, was significantly smaller than the normal enzyme, 151-174 kDa compared with 225-278 kDa. The size of the mutant enzyme from cell lines of patients with variant forms of pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy, which comprised another complementation group characterized by normal activity towards mono- and oligo-saccharide substrates, was significantly larger than the normal enzyme, ranging from 321 to 356 kDa in two families and from 528 to 547 kDa in a third family. These findings suggest that the mutations in I-cell disease and classical pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy result in a missing enzyme component, which renders the enzyme catalytically inefficient toward any type of acceptor substrate. In contrast, the mutations in the variant forms of pseudo-Hurler polydystrophy produce a larger enzyme molecule which is active toward small substrates but is incapable of binding natural lysosomal glycoprotein substrates.

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