A patient with the rare alpha-1-antitrypsin variant Z(bristol) in compound heterozygosity with the Z mutation

K. J. Bates*, M. Puxley, M. Hill, N. Kalsheker, A. Barlow, B. E. Clark, Roy Sherwood

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Alpha-1-antitrypsin (AAT) is a protease inhibitor (PI), deficiency of which is associated with emphysema and liver disease. The most common deficiency alleles are the S (p.Glu288Val) and Z (p.Glu366Lys) alleles. The Z allele predisposes the AAT protein to polymerization with accumulation in hepatocytes leading to liver disease in PIZ individuals. Most AAT variants have a characteristic pattern of isoforms by isoelectric focusing (IEF). A novel AAT variant called PIZ(bristol) (p.Thr109Met) with an unusual pattern on IEF was described in 1997. We report a patient with the PIZZ(bristol) phenotype that has not been previously described. A 43-year-old man was referred by his GP to a respiratory clinic for breathlessness. His AAT concentration was 0.50g/L (reference range 1.0-2.0g/L). An unusual pattern on IEF was seen and sequencing revealed the presence of the rare variant Z(bristol) in combination with the Z mutation. This is the second reported case of Z(bristol) and the first in combination with the Z mutation. The patient maintained plasma AAT concentrations around 0.50-0.70g/L which suggested that the Z(bristol) protein contributed to the low plasma concentration of AAT. The clinical symptoms associated with PIZ are usually attributed to the plasma deficiency, but his only respiratory complaint was that of breathlessness. This suggests that the PIZZ(bristol) phenotype may confer an effect on respiratory function but is not involved in liver disease.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)618-621
    Number of pages4
    JournalAnnals of Clinical Biochemistry
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • Genetics
    • DNA and RNA techniques
    • electrophoresis


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