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Mitochondrial trifunctional protein (MTP) is a recently identified enzyme involved in mitochondrial beta-oxidation, harboring long-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase, long-chain 3-hydroxyacyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCHAD) and long-chain 3-ketothiolase activity. A deficiency of this protein is associated with impaired oxidation of long-chain fatty acids which can lead to sudden infant death. Furthermore, it is clear that this inborn error of fatty acid oxidation is very frequent, second to medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency. In most patients only the LCHAD activity of MTP is deficient with near normal activity of the two other enzyme activities of the complex. We recently described the occurrence of a frequent G1528C mutation in the cDNA coding for the a subunit of MTP. Using S. cerevisiae for expression of wild type and mutant protein we show that the G1528C mutation is directly responsible for the loss of LCHAD activity. Furthermore, we describe a newly developed method allowing identification of the G1528C mutation in genomic DNA. The finding of an 87% allele frequency of the G1528C mutation in 34 LCHAD deficient patients makes this a valuable test for prenatal diagnosis. Finally, we show that the gene encoding the alpha subunit of MTP is located on chromosome 2p24.1-23.3.