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1.  Dubin-Johnson syndrome coinciding with colon cancer and atherosclerosis 
Hyperbilirubinemia has been presumed to prevent the process of atherogenesis and cancerogenesis mainly by decreasing oxidative stress. Dubin-Johnson syndrome is a rare, autosomal recessive, inherited disorder characterized by biphasic, predominantly conjugated hyperbilirubinemia with no progression to end-stage liver disease. The molecular basis in Dubin-Johnson syndrome is absence or deficiency of human canalicular multispecific organic anion transporter MRP2/cMOAT caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous mutation(s) in ABCC2 located on chromosome 10q24. Clinical onset of the syndrome is most often seen in the late teens or early adulthood. In this report, we describe a case of previously unrecognized Dubin-Johnson syndrome caused by two novel pathogenic mutations (c.2360_2366delCCCTGTC and c.3258+1G>A), coinciding with cholestatic liver disease in an 82-year-old male patient. The patient, suffering from advanced atherosclerosis with serious involvement of coronary arteries, developed colorectal cancer with nodal metastases. The subsequent findings do not support the protective role of Dubin-Johnson type hyperbilirubinemia.
PMCID: PMC3574894  PMID: 23429660
Dubin-Johnson syndrome; ABCC2; Hyperbilirubinemia; Oxidative stress; Atherosclerosis; Cancer
2.  A novel transgenic mouse model of CBS-deficient homocystinuria does not incur hepatic steatosis or fibrosis and exhibits a hypercoagulative phenotype that is ameliorated by betaine treatment 
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism  2010;101(2-3):153-162.
Cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) catalyzes the condensation of homocysteine (Hcy) and serine to cystathionine, which is then hydrolyzed to cysteine by cystathionine gamma-lyase. Inactivation of CBS results in CBS-deficient homocystinuria more commonly referred to as classical homocystinuria, which, if untreated, results in mental retardation, thromboembolic complications, and a range of connective tissue disorders. The molecular mechanisms that underlie the pathology of this disease are poorly understood. We report here the generation of a new mouse model of classical homocystinuria in which the mouse cbs gene is inactivated and that exhibits low-level expression of the human CBS transgene under the control of the human CBS promoter. This mouse model, designated “human only” (HO), exhibits severe elevations in both plasma and tissue levels of Hcy, methionine, S-adenosylmethionine, and S-adenosylhomocysteine and a concomitant decrease in plasma and hepatic levels of cysteine. HO mice exhibit mild hepatopathy but, in contrast to previous models of classical homocystinuria, do not incur hepatic steatosis, fibrosis, or neonatal death with approximately 90% of HO mice living for at least 6 months. Tail bleeding determinations indicate that HO mice are in a hypercoagulative state that is significantly ameliorated by betaine treatment in a manner that recapitulates the disease as it occurs in humans. Our findings indicate that this mouse model will be a valuable tool in the study of pathogenesis in classical homocystinuria and the rational design of novel treatments.
PMCID: PMC2954364  PMID: 20638879
BHMT, betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase; HCU, classical homocystinuria; CBS, cystathionine beta-synthase; CGL, cystathionine gamma-lyase; Hcy, homocysteine; MTHFR, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase; AdoMet, S-adenosylmethionine; AdoHcy, S-adenosylhomocysteine; tHcy, total homocysteine; Betaine; Coagulation; Cystathionine; Cystathionine beta-synthase; Cystathionine gamma-lyase; Homocystinuria; Homocysteine
3.  Cystathionine beta-synthase null homocystinuric mice fail to exhibit altered hemostasis or lowering of plasma homocysteine in response to betaine treatment 
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism  2010;101(2-3):163-171.
Cystathionine beta-synthase (CBS) deficient homocystinuria is an inherited metabolic defect that if untreated typically results in mental retardation, thromboembolism and a range of connective tissue disturbances. A knockout mouse model has previously been used to investigate pathogenic mechanisms in classical homocystinuria (Watanabe et al., PNAS 92 (1995) 1585–1589). This mouse model exhibits a semi-lethal phenotype and the majority of mice do not survive the early neonatal period. We report here that the birth incidence of cbs (−/−) mice produced from heterozygous crosses is non-Mendelian and not significantly improved by treatment with either the Hcy lowering compound betaine or the cysteine donor N-acetylcysteine. Betaine treatment did improve survival of cbs (−/−) mice and restored fertility to female cbs (−/−) mice but did so without significantly lowering Hcy levels. Surviving cbs (−/−) mice failed to show any alteration in coagulation parameters compared to wild-type controls. Moribund cbs (−/−) mice exhibited severe liver injury and hepatic fibrosis while surviving cbs (−/−) mice although less severely affected, still exhibited a level of severe liver injury that is not found in the human disease. The hepatopathy observed in this model may offer an explanation for the failure of cbs (−/−) mice to respond to betaine or exhibit a hypercoagulative phenotype. We conclude that although this model provides useful data on the biochemical sequelae of classical homocystinuria, it does not successfully recapitulate a number of important features of the human disease and its use for studying mechanisms in homocystinuria should be treated with caution as the hepatopathy produces changes which could influence the results.
PMCID: PMC2954358  PMID: 20638882
ALT, Alanine aminotransferase; aPTT, activated partial thromboplastin time; BHMT, betaine-homocysteine S-methyltransferase; HCU, classical homocystinuria; CBS, cystathionine beta-synthase; CGL, cystathionine gamma-lyase; DMG, dimethylglycine; ER, endoplasmic reticulum; fHcy, free homocysteine; Hcy, homocysteine; LDH, lactate dehydrogenase; MG, methylglycine; NAC, N-acetylcysteine; PT, prothrombin time; AdoMet, S-adenosylmethionine; AdoHcy, S-adenosylhomocysteine; tHcy, total homocysteine; Betaine; Coagulation; Cystathionine; Cystathionine beta-synthase; Cystathionine gamma-lyase; Homocystinuria; Homocysteine
4.  Adipocytes participate in storage in α-galactosidase deficiency (Fabry disease) 
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease  2010;33(Suppl 3):297-300.
Ultrastructural and histochemical studies of bioptic and postmortem tissue samples from ten Fabry hemizygotes showed lysosomal storage in adipocytes as a constant feature of the classic phenotype of α-galactosidase (GLA) deficiency. The storage was represented by a crescent-shaped line of storage lysosomes of varying thicknesses restricted to the perinuclear subplasmalemmal area. The ultrastructure of the storage lysosomes was dominated by concentric lipid membranes modified by simultaneous deposition of autofluorescent ceroid. Storage was widely expressed in adipose tissue. The number of storage lysosomes was increased, and the lysosomes were more clustered in adipocytes with less voluminous lipid content. The findings should attract interest to studies of adipose tissue biology in Fabry disease, a topic that has not been studied so far. In terms of cell biology, the observations represent indirect evidence of significant lysosomal turnover of α-galactose lipid conjugates in adipocytes demasked by GLA deficiency. The results extend the thus far limited information on the adipocyte lysosomal system and its participation in lysosomal storage disorders.
PMCID: PMC3757258  PMID: 20628902
5.  The birth prevalence of lysosomal storage disorders in the Czech Republic: comparison with data in different populations 
The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the prevalence of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs) in the Czech Republic. The data on cases diagnosed between 1975 and 2008 were collected and analyzed. The overall prevalence of LSDs in the Czech population (12.25 per 100,000) is comparable to that reported for the countries with well-established and advanced diagnostics of LSDs such as the Netherlands (14 per 100,000), Australia (12.9 per 100,000) and Italy (12.1 per 100,000). Relatively higher prevalence of LSDs was reported in the north of Portugal (25 per 100,000). Thirty-four different LSDs were diagnosed in a total of 478 individuals. Gaucher disease was the most frequent LSD with a birth prevalence of 1.13 per 100,000 births. The most frequent LSD groups were lipidoses, mucopolysaccharidoses, and neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, with combined prevalences of 5.0, 3.72, and 2.29 per 100,000 live births, respectively. Glycoproteinoses (0.57 per 100,000 live births), glycogenosis type II (0.37), and mucolipidoses (0.31) rarely occur in the Czech population, and a range of other LSDs have not been detected at all over the past three decades. Knowledge of the birth prevalence and carrier frequency of particular disorders is important in genetic counselling for calculation of the risk for the disorder in the other members of affected families. Earlier diagnosis of these disorders will permit timely intervention and may also result in lowering of the number of newborns with LSDs.
PMCID: PMC2903693  PMID: 20490927
6.  Abnormal nonstoring capillary endothelium: a novel feature of Gaucher disease. Ultrastructural study of dermal capillaries 
Ultrastructural study of skin biopsies in two cases of Gaucher disease (GD) patients (types II and III) revealed hitherto unknown alteration of the blood capillary endothelial cells (ECs) featured by hypertrophy and numerous subplasmalemmal microvesicles underneath both the apical and basal membranes. There was also prominent apical membrane folding with formation of filiform and large cytoplasmic projections, with occasional transcapillary cytoplasmic bridges. Similar, though less frequently expressed, changes were manifested at the basal membrane by numerous cytoplasmic projections into the subendothelial space. Regressive changes with EC breakdown were rare. Lysosomal storage was always absent. Besides EC hypertrophy, there was also increased EC density in the capillary lumen, leading to pronounced changes in capillary architecture with loose or incomplete EC anchoring. There were also signs of EC sprouting. Some pericytes displayed an increase in size and number of cytoplasmic processes, which often extended into distant pericapillary regions. The spectrum of changes suggests that a significant positive growth effect on EC occurs in GD. The putative mechanisms triggered by GBA1 deficiency leading to EC involvement are discussed. The authors are well aware of the fact the results, based on a nontraditional type of bioptic samples, are preliminary, but they are worth following, as further ultrastructural and functional studies of blood endothelium in GD may open a novel field in molecular cell pathophysiology of the disorder: endothelial dysfunction.
PMCID: PMC2828558  PMID: 20049530
7.  Replacement of α-galactosidase A in Fabry disease: effect on fibroblast cultures compared with biopsied tissues of treated patients 
Virchows Archiv  2008;452(6):651-665.
The function and intracellular delivery of enzyme therapeutics for Fabry disease were studied in cultured fibroblasts and in the biopsied tissues of two male patients to show diversity of affected cells in response to treatment. In the mutant fibroblasts cultures, the final cellular level of endocytosed recombinant α-galactosidases A (agalsidases, FabrazymeTM, and ReplagalTM) exceeded, by several fold, the amount in control fibroblasts and led to efficient direct intra-lysosomal hydrolysis of (3H)Gb3Cer. In contrast, in the samples from the heart and some other tissues biopsied after several months of enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) with FabrazymeTM, only the endothelial cells were free of storage. Persistent Gb3Cer storage was found in cardiocytes (accompanied by increase of lipopigment), smooth muscle cells, fibroblasts, sweat glands, and skeletal muscle. Immunohistochemistry of cardiocytes demonstrated, for the first time, the presence of a considerable amount of the active enzyme in intimate contact with the storage compartment. Factors responsible for the limited ERT effectiveness are discussed, namely post-mitotic status of storage cells preventing their replacement by enzyme supplied precursors, modification of the lysosomal system by longstanding storage, and possible relative lack of Sap B. These observations support the strategy of early treatment for prevention of lysosomal storage.
PMCID: PMC2956889  PMID: 18351385
α-Galactosidase A deficiency; Enzyme replacement therapy; Persistent storage; Enzyme targeting; Clearance of storage lysosomes
8.  Atypical CLN2 with later onset and prolonged course: a neuropathologic study showing different sensitivity of neuronal subpopulations to TPP1 deficiency 
Acta Neuropathologica  2008;116(1):119-124.
This is the first neuropathology report of a male patient (born 1960–died 1975) with an extremely rare, atypical variant of CLN2 that has been diagnosed only in five families so far. The clinical history started during his preschool years with relatively mild motor and psychological difficulties, but with normal intellect and vision. Since age six there were progressive cerebellar and extrapyramidal symptomatology, amaurosis, and mental deterioration. Epileptic seizures were absent. The child died aged 15 years in extreme cachexy. Neuropathology revealed neurolysosomal storage of autofluorescent, curvilinear and subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase (SCMAS) rich material. The neuronal storage led to laminar neuronal depopulation in the cerebral cortex and to a practically total eradication of the cerebellar cortical neurons. The other areas of the central nervous system including hippocampus, which are usually heavily affected in classical forms of CLN2, displayed either a lesser degree or absence of neuronal storage, or storage without significant neuronal loss. Transformation of the stored material to the spheroid like perikaryal inclusions was rudimentary. The follow-up, after 30 years, showed heterozygous values of TPP1 (tripeptidylpeptidase 1) activity in the white blood cells of both parents and the sister. DNA analysis of CLN2 gene identified a paternal frequent null mutation c.622C > T (p.Arg208 X) in the 6th exon and a maternal novel mutation c.1439 T > G in exon 12 (p.Val480Gly). TPP1 immunohistochemistry using a specific antibody gave negative results in the brain and other organs. Our report supports the notion that the spectrum of CLN2 phenotypes may be surprisingly broad. The study revealed variable sensitivities in neuronal subpopulations to the metabolic defect which may be responsible for the variant’s serious course.
PMCID: PMC2956886  PMID: 18283468
CLN 2; Atypical course; Neuropathology; Storage pattern
9.  Neurolysosomal pathology in human prosaposin deficiency suggests essential neurotrophic function of prosaposin 
Acta Neuropathologica  2006;113(2):163-175.
A neuropathologic study of three cases of prosaposin (pSap) deficiency (ages at death 27, 89 and 119 days), carried out in the standard autopsy tissues, revealed a neurolysosomal pathology different from that in the non-neuronal cells. Non-neuronal storage is represented by massive lysosomal accumulation of glycosphingolipids (glucosyl-, galactosyl-, lactosyl-, globotriaosylceramides, sulphatide, and ceramide). The lysosomes in the central and peripheral neurons were distended by pleomorphic non-lipid aggregates lacking specific staining and autofluorescence. Lipid storage was borderline in case 1, and at a low level in the other cases. Neurolysosomal storage was associated with massive ubiquitination, which was absent in the non-neuronal cells and which did not display any immunohistochemical aggresomal properties. Confocal microscopy and cross-correlation function analyses revealed a positive correlation between the ubiquitin signal and the late endosomal/lysosomal markers. We suppose that the neuropathology most probably reflects excessive influx of non-lipid material (either in bulk or as individual molecules) into the neurolysosomes. The cortical neurons appeared to be uniquely vulnerable to pSap deficiency. Whereas in case 1 they populated the cortex, in cases 2 and 3 they had been replaced by dense populations of both phagocytic microglia and astrocytes. We suggest that this massive neuronal loss reflects a cortical neuronal survival crisis precipitated by the lack of pSap. The results of our study may extend the knowledge of the neurotrophic function of pSap, which should be considered essential for the survival and maintenance of human cortical neurons.
PMCID: PMC2956888  PMID: 17024494
Prosaposin deficiency; Neurolysosomal disorder; Ubiquitination; Cross-correlation function; Cortical neuronal survival crisis
10.  Prosaposin Deficiency and Saposin B Deficiency (Activator-Deficient Metachromatic Leukodystrophy): Report on Two Patients Detected by Analysis of Urinary Sphingolipids and Carrying Novel PSAP Gene Mutations 
Prosaposin deficiency (pSap-d) and saposin B deficiency (SapB-d) are both lipid storage disorders caused by mutations in the PSAP gene that codes for the 65–70 kDa prosaposin protein, which is the precursor for four sphingolipid activator proteins, saposins A–D. We report on two new patients with PSAP gene defects; one, with pSap-d, who had a severe neurovisceral dystrophy and died as a neonate, and the other with SapB-d, who presented with a metachromatic leukodystrophy-like disorder but had normal arylsulfatase activity. Screening for urinary sphingolipids was crucial to the diagnosis of both patients, with electrospray ionization tandem mass spectrometry also providing quantification. The pSap-d patient is the first case with this condition where urinary sphingolipids have been investigated. Multiple sphingolipids were elevated, with globotriaosylceramide showing the greatest increase. Both patients had novel mutations in the PSAP gene. The pSap-d patient was homozygous for a splice-acceptor site mutation two bases upstream of exon 10. This mutation led to a premature stop codon and yielded low levels of transcript. The SapB-d patient was a compound heterozygote with a splice-acceptor site variant exclusively affecting the SapB domain on one allele, and a 2 bp deletion leading to a null, that is, pSap-d mutation, on the other allele. Phenotypically, pSap-d is a relatively uniform disease of the neonate, whereas SapB-d is heterogeneous with a spectrum similar to that in metachromatic leukodystrophy. The possible existence of genotypes and phenotypes intermediate between those of pSap-d and the single saposin deficiencies is speculated. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
PMCID: PMC3437469  PMID: 19267410
sphingolipid activator proteins; prosaposin; urinary lipids; mass spectrometry; PSAP gene; saposin deficiency; metachromatic leukodystrophy

Results 1-10 (10)