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author:("fevers, Ron A")
1.  Single point mutation in Rabenosyn-5 in a female with intractable seizures and evidence of defective endocytotic trafficking 
Background
We report a 6.5 year-old female with a homozygous missense mutation in ZFYVE20, encoding Rabenosyn-5 (Rbsn-5), a highly conserved multi-domain protein implicated in receptor-mediated endocytosis. The clinical presentation includes intractable seizures, developmental delay, microcephaly, dysostosis, osteopenia, craniofacial dysmorphism, macrocytosis and megaloblastoid erythropoiesis. Biochemical findings include transient cobalamin deficiency, severe hypertriglyceridemia upon ketogenic diet, microalbuminuria and partial cathepsin D deficiency.
Methods and results
Whole exome sequencing followed by Sanger sequencing confirmed a rare (frequency:0.003987) homozygous missense mutation, g.15,116,371 G > A (c.1273G > A), in ZFYVE20 resulting in an amino acid change from Glycine to Arginine at position 425 of the Rbsn protein (p.Gly425Arg), as the only mutation segregating with disease in the family. Studies in fibroblasts revealed expression and localization of Rbsn-5G425R in wild-type manner, but a 50% decrease in transferrin accumulation, which is corrected by wild-type allele transfection. Furthermore, the patient’s fibroblasts displayed an impaired proliferation rate, cytoskeletal and lysosomal abnormalities.
Conclusion
These results are consistent with a functional defect in the early endocytic pathway resulting from mutation in Rbsn-5, which secondarily disrupts multiple cellular functions dependent on endocytosis, leading to a severe multi-organ disorder.
doi:10.1186/s13023-014-0141-5
PMCID: PMC4177245  PMID: 25233840
Internalization; Receptor endocytosis; Recycling; FYVE domain; Rab GTPase; Epilepsy; Cathepsin D; Vitamin B12; Inborn error of metabolism
3.  Symptomatic lipid storage in carriers for the PNPLA2 gene 
Neutral lipid storage disease comprises a heterogeneous group of inherited disorders characterized by severe accumulation of cytoplasmic triglyceride droplets in several tissues and neutrophils. A novel type of autosomal recessive lipid myopathy due to PNPLA2 mutations was recently described with associated cardiac disease, myopathy and frequent infections, but without ichthyosis. Here we describe the clinical and biochemical characteristics of a long surviving patient and report on four carrier family members with diverse clinical involvement. Interestingly, heterozygous patients show neutral lipid storage in muscle and in the keratocytes of the skin, Jordans' bodies, mild myopathy and frequent infections. Biochemical analysis of fibroblasts obtained from patients revealed increased triglyceride storage and reduced lipid droplet-associated triglyceride hydrolase activity. Together, our data implicate that the wild-type allele cannot fully compensate for the mutated dysfunctional allele of PNPLA2 leading to triglyceride accumulation in muscle and mild myopathy in PNPLA2 mutation carriers. The presence of neutral lipid droplets in the skin in PNPLA2 mutation carriers strengthens the link between NLSD and other neutral lipid storage diseases with ichthyosis.
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2012.256
PMCID: PMC3722672  PMID: 23232698
symptomatic carriers; deafness; lipid myopathy; neutral lipid storage; insulin resistance; implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
4.  Leucine Loading Test is Only Discriminative for 3-Methylglutaconic Aciduria Due to AUH Defect 
JIMD Reports  2014;16:1-6.
Currently, six inborn errors of metabolism with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria as discriminative feature are known. The “Primary 3-methylglutaconic aciduria,” 3-methylglutaconyl-CoA hydratase deficiency or AUH defect, is a disorder of leucine catabolism. For all other subtypes, also denoted “Secondary 3-methylglutaconic acidurias” (TAZ defect or Barth syndrome, SERAC1 defect or MEGDEL syndrome, OPA3 defect or Costeff syndrome, DNAJC19 defect or DCMA syndrome, TMEM70 defect, “not otherwise specified (NOS) 3-MGA-uria”), the origin of 3-methylglutaconic aciduria remains enigmatic but is hypothesized to be independent from leucine catabolism. Here we show the results of leucine loading test in 21 patients with different inborn errors of metabolism who present with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. After leucine loading urinary 3-methylglutaconic acid levels increased only in the patients with an AUH defect. This strongly supports the hypothesis that 3-methylglutaconic aciduria is independent from leucine breakdown in other inborn errors of metabolism with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria and also provides a simple test to discriminate between primary and secondary 3-methylglutaconic aciduria in regular patient care.
doi:10.1007/8904_2014_309
PMCID: PMC4221300  PMID: 24757000
5.  Towards the Disease Biomarker in an Individual Patient Using Statistical Health Monitoring 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e92452.
In metabolomics, identification of complex diseases is often based on application of (multivariate) statistical techniques to the data. Commonly, each disease requires its own specific diagnostic model, separating healthy and diseased individuals, which is not very practical in a diagnostic setting. Additionally, for orphan diseases such models cannot be constructed due to a lack of available data. An alternative approach adapted from industrial process control is proposed in this study: statistical health monitoring (SHM). In SHM the metabolic profile of an individual is compared to that of healthy people in a multivariate manner. Abnormal metabolite concentrations, or abnormal patterns of concentrations, are indicated by the method. Subsequently, this biomarker can be used for diagnosis. A tremendous advantage here is that only data of healthy people is required to construct the model. The method is applicable in current–population based –clinical practice as well as in personalized health applications. In this study, SHM was successfully applied for diagnosis of several orphan diseases as well as detection of metabotypic abnormalities related to diet and drug intake.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0092452
PMCID: PMC3972152  PMID: 24691487
6.  Optimized Metabolomic Approach to Identify Uremic Solutes in Plasma of Stage 3–4 Chronic Kidney Disease Patients 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71199.
Background
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is characterized by the progressive accumulation of various potential toxic solutes. Furthermore, uremic plasma is a complex mixture hampering accurate determination of uremic toxin levels and the identification of novel uremic solutes.
Methods
In this study, we applied 1H-nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, following three distinct deproteinization strategies, to determine differences in the plasma metabolic status of stage 3–4 CKD patients and healthy controls. Moreover, the human renal proximal tubule cell line (ciPTEC) was used to study the influence of newly indentified uremic solutes on renal phenotype and functionality.
Results
Protein removal via ultrafiltration and acetonitrile precipitation are complementary techniques and both are required to obtain a clear metabolome profile. This new approach, revealed that a total of 14 metabolites were elevated in uremic plasma. In addition to confirming the retention of several previously identified uremic toxins, including p-cresyl sulphate, two novel uremic retentions solutes were detected, namely dimethyl sulphone (DMSO2) and 2-hydroxyisobutyric acid (2-HIBA). Our results show that these metabolites accumulate in non-dialysis CKD patients from 9±7 µM (control) to 51±29 µM and from 7 (0–9) µM (control) to 32±15 µM, respectively. Furthermore, exposure of ciPTEC to clinically relevant concentrations of both solutes resulted in an increased protein expression of the mesenchymal marker vimentin with more than 10% (p<0.05). Moreover, the loss of epithelial characteristics significantly correlated with a loss of glucuronidation activity (Pearson r = −0.63; p<0.05). In addition, both solutes did not affect cell viability nor mitochondrial activity.
Conclusions
This study demonstrates the importance of sample preparation techniques in the identification of uremic retention solutes using 1H-NMR spectroscopy, and provide insight into the negative impact of DMSO2 and 2-HIBA on ciPTEC, which could aid in understanding the progressive nature of renal disease.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071199
PMCID: PMC3732267  PMID: 23936492
7.  Increased mitochondrial activity in a novel IDH1-R132H mutant human oligodendroglioma xenograft model: in situ detection of 2-HG and α-KG 
Background
Point mutations in genes encoding NADP+-dependent isocitrate dehydrogenases (especially IDH1) are common in lower grade diffuse gliomas and secondary glioblastomas and occur early during tumor development. The contribution of these mutations to gliomagenesis is not completely understood and research is hampered by the lack of relevant tumor models. We previously described the development of the patient-derived high-grade oligodendroglioma xenograft model E478 that carries the commonly occurring IDH1-R132H mutation. We here report on the analyses of E478 xenografts at the genetic, histologic and metabolic level.
Results
LC-MS and in situ mass spectrometric imaging by LESA-nano ESI-FTICR revealed high levels of the proposed oncometabolite D-2-hydroxyglutarate (D-2HG), the product of enzymatic conversion of α-ketoglutarate (α-KG) by IDH1-R132H, in the tumor but not in surrounding brain parenchyma. α-KG levels and total NADP+-dependent IDH activity were similar in IDH1-mutant and -wildtype xenografts, demonstrating that IDH1-mutated cancer cells maintain α-KG levels. Interestingly, IDH1-mutant tumor cells in vivo present with high densities of mitochondria and increased levels of mitochondrial activity as compared to IDH1-wildtype xenografts. It is not yet clear whether this altered mitochondrial activity is a driver or a consequence of tumorigenesis.
Conclusions
The oligodendroglioma model presented here is a valuable model for further functional elucidation of the effects of IDH1 mutations on tumor metabolism and may aid in the rational development of novel therapeutic strategies for the large subgroup of gliomas carrying IDH1 mutations.
doi:10.1186/2051-5960-1-18
PMCID: PMC3893588  PMID: 24252742
Glioma; IDH mutations; Xenograft; D-2-hydroxyglutarate; α-ketoglutarate; Mitochondria: LESA-nano ESI-FTICR
8.  Evidence for treatable inborn errors of metabolism in a cohort of 187 Greek patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) 
We screened for the presence of inborn errors of metabolism (IEM) in 187 children (105 males; 82 females, ages 4–14 years old) who presented with confirmed features of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Twelve patients (7%) manifested increased 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid (3-OH-IVA) excretion in urine, and minor to significant improvement in autistic features was observed in seven patients following supplementation with biotin. Five diagnoses included: Lesch Nyhan syndrome (2), succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase (SSADH) deficiency (2), and phenylketonuria (1) (2.7%). Additional metabolic disturbances suggestive of IEMs included two patients whose increased urine 3-OH-IVA was accompanied by elevated methylcitrate and lactate in sera, and 30 patients that showed abnormal glucose-loading tests. In the latter group, 16/30 patients manifested increased sera beta hydroxybutyrate (b-OH-b) production and 18/30 had a paradoxical increase of sera lactate. Six patients with elevated b-OH-b in sera showed improved autistic features following implementation of a ketogenic diet (KD). Five patients showed decreased serum ketone body production with glucose loading. Twelve of 187 patients demonstrated non-specific MRI pathology, while 25/187 had abnormal electroencephalogram (EEG) findings. Finally, family history was positive for 22/187 patients (1st or 2nd degree relative with comparable symptomatology) and consanguinity was documented for 12/187 patients. Our data provide evidence for a new biomarker (3-OH-IVA) and novel treatment approaches in ASD patients. Concise 1 sentence take-home message: Detailed metabolic screening in a Greek cohort of ASD patients revealed biomarkers (urine 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid and serum b-OH-b) in 7% (13/187) of patients for whom biotin supplementation or institution of a KD resulted in mild to significant clinical improvement in autistic features.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2013.00858
PMCID: PMC3871708  PMID: 24399946
autism; inborn errors of metabolism; biotin; ketogenic diet; 3-hydroxyisovaleric acid; Lesch-Nyhan disease; succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency; phenylketonuria
9.  Heterozygosity for a Loss-of-Function Mutation in GALNT2 Improves Plasma Triglyceride Clearance in Man 
Cell metabolism  2011;14(6):811-818.
SUMMARY
Genome-wide association studies have identified GALNT2 as a candidate gene in lipid metabolism, but it is not known how the encoded enzyme ppGal-NAc-T2, which contributes to the initiation of mucin-type O-linked glycosylation, mediates this effect. In two probands with elevated plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and reduced triglycerides, we identified a mutation in GALNT2. It is shown that carriers have improved postprandial triglyceride clearance, which is likely attributable to attenuated glycosylation of apolipoprotein (apo) C-III, as observed in their plasma. This protein inhibits lipoprotein lipase (LPL), which hydrolyses plasma triglycerides. We show that an apoC-III-based peptide is a substrate for ppGalNAc-T2 while its glycosylation by the mutant enzyme is impaired. In addition, neuraminidase treatment of apoC-III which removes the sialic acids from its glycan chain decreases its potential to inhibit LPL. Combined, these data suggest that ppGalNAc-T2 can affect lipid metabolism through apoC-III glycosylation, thereby establishing GALNT2 as a lipid-modifying gene.
doi:10.1016/j.cmet.2011.11.005
PMCID: PMC3523677  PMID: 22152306
10.  Identification of Novel Translational Urinary Biomarkers for Acetaminophen-Induced Acute Liver Injury Using Proteomic Profiling in Mice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(11):e49524.
Drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is the leading cause of acute liver failure. Currently, no adequate predictive biomarkers for DILI are available. This study describes a translational approach using proteomic profiling for the identification of urinary proteins related to acute liver injury induced by acetaminophen (APAP). Mice were given a single intraperitoneal dose of APAP (0–350 mg/kg bw) followed by 24 h urine collection. Doses of ≥275 mg/kg bw APAP resulted in hepatic centrilobular necrosis and significantly elevated plasma alanine aminotransferase (ALT) values (p<0.0001). Proteomic profiling resulted in the identification of 12 differentially excreted proteins in urine of mice with acute liver injury (p<0.001), including superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), carbonic anhydrase 3 (CA3) and calmodulin (CaM), as novel biomarkers for APAP-induced liver injury. Urinary levels of SOD1 and CA3 increased with rising plasma ALT levels, but urinary CaM was already present in mice treated with high dose of APAP without elevated plasma ALT levels. Importantly, we showed in human urine after APAP intoxication the presence of SOD1 and CA3, whereas both proteins were absent in control urine samples. Urinary concentrations of CaM were significantly increased and correlated well with plasma APAP concentrations (r = 0.97; p<0.0001) in human APAP intoxicants, who did not present with elevated plasma ALT levels. In conclusion, using this urinary proteomics approach we demonstrate CA3, SOD1 and, most importantly, CaM as potential human biomarkers for APAP-induced liver injury.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0049524
PMCID: PMC3498140  PMID: 23166697
12.  Cerebrospinal Fluid Glucose and Lactate: Age-Specific Reference Values and Implications for Clinical Practice 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(8):e42745.
Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis is an important tool in the diagnostic work-up of many neurological disorders, but reference ranges for CSF glucose, CSF/plasma glucose ratio and CSF lactate based on studies with large numbers of CSF samples are not available. Our aim was to define age-specific reference values. In 1993 The Nijmegen Observational CSF Study was started. Results of all CSF samples that were analyzed between 1993 and 2008 at our laboratory were systematically collected and stored in our computerized database. After exclusion of CSF samples with an unknown or elevated erythrocyte count, an elevated leucocyte count, elevated concentrations of bilirubin, free hemoglobin, or total protein 9,036 CSF samples were further studied for CSF glucose (n = 8,871), CSF/plasma glucose ratio (n = 4,516) and CSF lactate values (n = 7,614). CSF glucose, CSF/plasma glucose ratio and CSF lactate were age-, but not sex dependent. Age-specific reference ranges were defined as 5–95th percentile ranges. CSF glucose 5th percentile values ranged from 1.8 to 2.9 mmol/L and 95th percentile values from 3.8 to 5.6 mmol/L. CSF/plasma glucose ratio 5th percentile values ranged from 0.41 to 0.53 and 95th percentile values from 0.82 to 1.19. CSF lactate 5th percentile values ranged from 0.88 to 1.41 mmol/L and 95th percentile values from 2.00 to 2.71 mmol/L. Reference ranges for all three parameters were widest in neonates and narrowest in toddlers, with lower and upper limits increasing with age. These reference values allow a reliable interpretation of CSF results in everyday clinical practice. Furthermore, hypoglycemia was associated with an increased CSF/plasma glucose ratio, whereas hyperglycemia did not affect the CSF/plasma glucose ratio.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0042745
PMCID: PMC3412827  PMID: 22880096
13.  From discrete dilated cardiomyopathy to successful cardiac transplantation in congenital disorders of glycosylation due to dolichol kinase deficiency (DK1-CDG) 
Heart Failure Reviews  2012;18(2):187-196.
Congenital disorders of glycosylation are a growing group of inborn errors of protein glycosylation. Cardiac involvement is frequently observed in the most common form, PMM2-CDG, especially hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Dilated cardiomyopathy, however, has been only observed in a few CDG subtypes, usually with a lethal outcome. We report on cardiac pathology in nine patients from three unrelated Israeli families, diagnosed with dolichol kinase deficiency, due to novel, homozygous DK1 gene mutations. The cardiac symptoms varied from discrete, mild dilation to overt heart failure with death. Two children died unexpectedly with acute symptoms of heart failure before the diagnosis of DK1-CDG and heart transplantation could take place. Three other affected children with mild dilated cardiomyopathy at the time of the diagnosis deteriorated rapidly, two of them within days after an acute infection. They all went through successful heart transplantation; one died unexpectedly and 2 others are currently (after 1–5 years) clinically stable. The other 4 children diagnosed with mild dilated cardiomyopathy are doing well on supportive heart failure therapy. In most cases, the cardiac findings dominated the clinical picture, without central nervous system or multisystem involvement, which is unique in CDG syndrome. We suggest to test for DK1-CDG in patients with dilated cardiomyopathy. Patients with discrete cardiomyopathy may remain stable on supportive treatment while others deteriorate rapidly. Our paper is the first comprehensive study on the phenotype of DK1-CDG and the first successful organ transplantation in CDG syndrome.
doi:10.1007/s10741-012-9302-6
PMCID: PMC3593007  PMID: 22327749
Dilated cardiomyopathy; Heart failure; CDG-Im; Congenital disorders of glycosylation; Dolichol kinase deficiency; Cardiac transplantation
14.  Autosomal Recessive Dilated Cardiomyopathy due to DOLK Mutations Results from Abnormal Dystroglycan O-Mannosylation 
PLoS Genetics  2011;7(12):e1002427.
Genetic causes for autosomal recessive forms of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) are only rarely identified, although they are thought to contribute considerably to sudden cardiac death and heart failure, especially in young children. Here, we describe 11 young patients (5–13 years) with a predominant presentation of dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Metabolic investigations showed deficient protein N-glycosylation, leading to a diagnosis of Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). Homozygosity mapping in the consanguineous families showed a locus with two known genes in the N-glycosylation pathway. In all individuals, pathogenic mutations were identified in DOLK, encoding the dolichol kinase responsible for formation of dolichol-phosphate. Enzyme analysis in patients' fibroblasts confirmed a dolichol kinase deficiency in all families. In comparison with the generally multisystem presentation in CDG, the nonsyndromic DCM in several individuals was remarkable. Investigation of other dolichol-phosphate dependent glycosylation pathways in biopsied heart tissue indicated reduced O-mannosylation of alpha-dystroglycan with concomitant functional loss of its laminin-binding capacity, which has been linked to DCM. We thus identified a combined deficiency of protein N-glycosylation and alpha-dystroglycan O-mannosylation in patients with nonsyndromic DCM due to autosomal recessive DOLK mutations.
Author Summary
Idiopathic dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) is estimated to be of genetic origin in 20%–48% of the patients. Almost all currently known genetic defects show dominant inheritance, although especially in younger children recessive causes have been proposed to contribute considerably to DCM. Knowledge of the genetic causes and pathophysiological mechanisms is essential for prognosis and treatment. Here, we studied several individual young patients (5–13 years old) with idiopathic and sometimes asymptomatic dilated cardiomyopathy. The key to identification of the gene was the finding of abnormal protein N-glycosylation. Via homozygosity mapping and functional knowledge of the N-glycosylation pathway, the causative gene could be identified as dolichol kinase (DOLK). Since DCM is very rare in N-glycosylation disorders (Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation, CDG) and most patients with CDG present with a multisystem involvement, we studied the underlying pathophysiological cause of this life-threatening disease. Biochemical experiments in affected heart tissue showed deficient O-mannosylation of alpha-dystroglycan, which could be correlated with the dilated cardiomyopathy. Our results thus highlight nonsyndromic DCM as a novel presentation of DOLK-CDG, via deficient O-mannosylation of alpha-dystroglycan.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1002427
PMCID: PMC3248466  PMID: 22242004
15.  The Paradox of Hyperdopaminuria in Aromatic l-Amino Acid Deficiency Explained 
JIMD Reports  2011;4:39-45.
Aromatic l-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC) decarboxylates 3,4-l-dihydroxylphenylalanine (l-dopa) to dopamine, and 5-hydroxytryptophan to serotonin. In AADC deficiency, dopamine and serotonin deficiency leads to a severe clinical picture with mental retardation, oculogyric crises, hypotonia, dystonia, and autonomic dysregulation. However, despite dopamine deficiency in the central nervous system, urinary dopamine excretion in AADC-deficient patients is normal to high.
In human, renal AADC-activity is very high compared to other tissues including brain tissue. Plasma l-dopa levels are increased in AADC deficiency. In this study, the hypothesis that in AADC deficiency relatively high-residual renal AADC-activity combined with high substrate availability of l-dopa leads to normal or elevated levels of urinary dopamine is tested and verified using 24-h urine collection of two AADC-deficient patients.
Renal dopamine is a major regulator of natriuresis and plays a crucial role in the maintenance of sodium homeostasis. Therefore, the preservation of sufficient renal AADC-activity in AADC deficiency might be crucial for survival of AADC-deficient patients.
In this study, we underpinned an empirical finding with theory, thereby putting a clinical observation into its physiological context. Our study stresses the difference – not qualitatively but quantitatively – between dopamine production in the central nervous system and peripheral organs. Furthermore, this study clarifies the so far unexplained observation that neurotransmitter profiles in urine should be interpreted with extreme caution in the diagnostic work-up of patients suspected to suffer from neurometabolic disorders.
doi:10.1007/8904_2011_84
PMCID: PMC3520506  PMID: 23430895
16.  Mitochondrial involvement and erythronic acid as a novel biomarker in transaldolase deficiency 
Biochimica et biophysica acta  2010;1802(11):1028-1035.
Background
Sedoheptulose, arabitol, ribitol, and erythritol have been identified as key diagnostic metabolites in TALDO deficiency.
Method
Urine from 6 TALDO-deficient patients and TALDO-deficient knock-out mice were analyzed using 1H-NMR spectroscopy and GC–mass spectrometry.
Results
Our data confirm the known metabolic characteristics in TALDO-deficient patients. The β-furanose form was the major sedoheptulose anomer in TALDO-deficient patients. Erythronic acid was identified as a major abnormal metabolite in all patients and in knock-out TALDO mice implicating an as yet unknown biochemical pathway in this disease. A putative sequence of enzymatic reactions leading to the formation of erythronic acid is presented. The urinary concentration of the citric acid cycle intermediates 2-oxoglutaric acid and fumaric acid was increased in the majority of TALDO-deficient patients but not in the knock-out mice.
Conclusion
Erythronic acid is a novel and major hallmark in TALDO deficiency. The pathway leading to its production may play a role in healthy humans as well. In TALDO-deficient patients, there is an increased flux through this pathway. The finding of increased citric acid cycle intermediates hints toward a disturbed mitochondrial metabolism in TALDO deficiency.
doi:10.1016/j.bbadis.2010.06.007
PMCID: PMC3117462  PMID: 20600873
NMR spectroscopy; Citric acid cycle intermediates; Pentose phosphate pathway; Transaldolase deficiency; Polyols; Sedoheptulose; Erythronic acid; 2-Oxoglutaric acid
17.  Nijmegen paediatric CDG rating scale: a novel tool to assess disease progression 
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are a group of clinically heterogeneous inborn errors of metabolism. At present, treatment is available for only one CDG, but potential treatments for the other CDG are on the horizon. It will be vitally important in clinical trials of such agents to have a clear understanding of both the natural history of CDG and the corresponding burden of disability suffered by patients. To date, no multicentre studies have attempted to document the natural history of CDG. This is in part due to the lack of a reliable assessment tool to score CDG’s diverse clinical spectrum. Based on our earlier experience evaluating disease progression in disorders of oxidative phosphorylation, we developed a practical and semi-quantitative rating scale for children with CDG. The Nijmegen Paediatric CDG Rating Scale (NPCRS) has been validated in 12 children, offering a tool to objectively monitor disease progression. We undertook a successful trial of the NPCRS with a collaboration of nine experienced physicians, using video records of physical and neurological examination of patients. The use of NPCRS can facilitate both longitudinal and natural history studies that will be essential for future interventions.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10545-011-9325-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10545-011-9325-5
PMCID: PMC3232068  PMID: 21541726
18.  Reply to Leao-Teles et al 
doi:10.1038/ejhg.2009.219
PMCID: PMC2987312
19.  Metabolic cutis laxa syndromes 
Cutis laxa is a rare skin disorder characterized by wrinkled, redundant, inelastic and sagging skin due to defective synthesis of elastic fibers and other proteins of the extracellular matrix. Wrinkled, inelastic skin occurs in many cases as an acquired condition. Syndromic forms of cutis laxa, however, are caused by diverse genetic defects, mostly coding for structural extracellular matrix proteins. Surprisingly a number of metabolic disorders have been also found to be associated with inherited cutis laxa. Menkes disease was the first metabolic disease reported with old-looking, wrinkled skin. Cutis laxa has recently been found in patients with abnormal glycosylation. The discovery of the COG7 defect in patients with wrinkled, inelastic skin was the first genetic link with the Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). Since then several inborn errors of metabolism with cutis laxa have been described with variable severity. These include P5CS, ATP6V0A2-CDG and PYCR1 defects. In spite of the evolving number of cutis laxa-related diseases a large part of the cases remain genetically unsolved. In metabolic cutis laxa syndromes the clinical and laboratory features might partially overlap, however there are some distinct, discriminative features. In this review on metabolic diseases causing cutis laxa we offer a practical approach for the differential diagnosis of metabolic cutis laxa syndromes.
doi:10.1007/s10545-011-9305-9
PMCID: PMC3137780  PMID: 21431621
20.  Transferrin mutations at the glycosylation site complicate diagnosis of congenital disorders of glycosylation type I 
Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) form a group of metabolic disorders caused by deficient glycosylation of proteins and/or lipids. Isoelectric focusing (IEF) of serum transferrin is the most common screening method to detect abnormalities of protein N-glycosylation. On the basis of the IEF profile, patients can be grouped into CDG type I or CDG type II. Several protein variants of transferrin are known that result in a shift in isoelectric point (pI). In some cases, these protein variants co-migrate with transferrin glycoforms, which complicates interpretation. In two patients with abnormal serum transferrin IEF profiles, neuraminidase digestion and subsequent IEF showed profiles suggestive of the diagnosis of CDG type I. Mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides of immunopurified transferrin, however, revealed a novel mutation at the N-glycan attachment site. In case 1, a peptide with mutation p.Asn630Thr in the 2nd glycosylation site was identified, resulting in an additional band at disialotransferrin position on IEF. After neuraminidase digestion, a single band was found at the asialotransferrin position, indistinguishable from CDG type I patients. In case 2, a peptide with mutation p.Asn432His was found. These results show the use of mass spectrometry of transferrin peptides in the diagnostic track of CDG type I.
doi:10.1007/s10545-011-9311-y
PMCID: PMC3137782  PMID: 21431619
21.  SRD5A3 is required for the conversion of polyprenol to dolichol, essential for N-linked protein glycosylation 
Cell  2010;142(2):203-217.
SUMMARY
N-linked glycosylation is the most frequent modification of secreted and membrane-bound proteins in eukaryotic cells, disruption of which is the basis of the Congenital Disorders of Glycosylation (CDG). We describe a new type of CDG caused by mutations in the steroid 5α-reductase type 3 (SRD5A3) gene. Patients have mental retardation, ophthalmologic and cerebellar defects. We found that SRD5A3 is necessary for the reduction of the alpha-isoprene unit of polyprenols to form dolichols, required for synthesis of dolichol-linked monosaccharides and the oligosaccharide precursor used for N-glycosylation. The presence of residual dolichol in cells depleted for this enzyme suggests the existence of an unexpected alternative pathway for dolichol de novo biosynthesis. Our results thus suggest that SRD5A3 is likely to be the long-sought polyprenol reductase and reveal the genetic basis of one of the earliest steps in protein N-linked glycosylation.
doi:10.1016/j.cell.2010.06.001
PMCID: PMC2940322  PMID: 20637498
N-glycosylation; dolichol; polyprenol; SRD5A3
22.  The 3-methylglutaconic acidurias: what’s new? 
The heterogeneous group of 3-methylglutaconic aciduria (3-MGA-uria) syndromes includes several inborn errors of metabolism biochemically characterized by increased urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid. Five distinct types have been recognized: 3-methylglutaconic aciduria type I is an inborn error of leucine catabolism; the additional four types all affect mitochondrial function through different pathomechanisms. We provide an overview of the expanding clinical spectrum of the 3-MGA-uria types and provide the newest insights into the underlying pathomechanisms. A diagnostic approach to the patient with 3-MGA-uria is presented, and we search for the connection between urinary 3-MGA excretion and mitochondrial dysfunction.
doi:10.1007/s10545-010-9210-7
PMCID: PMC3249181  PMID: 20882351
23.  Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB may predominantly present with an attenuated clinical phenotype 
Mucopolysaccharidosis type IIIB (MPS IIIB, Sanfilippo syndrome type B) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of the enzyme N-acetyl-α-D-glucosaminidase (NAGLU). Information on the natural course of MPS IIIB is scarce but much needed in view of emerging therapies. To improve knowledge on the natural course, data on all 52 MPS IIIB patients ever identified by enzymatic studies in the Netherlands were gathered. Clinical data on 44 patients could be retrieved. Only a small number (n = 9; 21%) presented with a classical MPS III phenotype; all other patients showed a much more attenuated course of the disease characterized by a significantly slower regression of intellectual and motor abilities. The majority of patients lived well into adulthood. First signs of the disease, usually mild developmental delay, were observed at a median age of 4 years. Subsequently, patients showed a slowing and eventually a stagnation of development. Patients with the attenuated phenotype had a stable intellectual disability for many years. Molecular analysis was performed in 24 index patients. The missense changes p.R643C, p.S612G, p.E634K, and p.L497V were exclusively found in patients with the attenuated phenotype. MPS IIIB comprises a remarkably wide spectrum of disease severity, and an unselected cohort including all Dutch patients showed a large proportion (79%) with an attenuated phenotype. MPS IIIB must be considered in patients with a developmental delay, even in the absence of a progressive decline in intellectual abilities. A key feature, necessitating metabolic studies, is the coexistence of behavioral problems.
doi:10.1007/s10545-010-9199-y
PMCID: PMC2992652  PMID: 20852935
24.  Loss-of-function mutations in ATP6V0A2 impair vesicular trafficking, tropoelastin secretion and cell survival 
Human Molecular Genetics  2009;18(12):2149-2165.
Autosomal recessive cutis laxa type 2 (ARCL2), a syndrome of growth and developmental delay and redundant, inelastic skin, is caused by mutations in the a2 subunit of the vesicular ATPase H+-pump (ATP6V0A2). The goal of this study was to define the disease mechanisms that lead to connective tissue lesions in ARCL2. In a new cohort of 17 patients, DNA sequencing of ATP6V0A2 detected either homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations. Considerable allelic and phenotypic heterogeneity was observed, with a missense mutation of a moderately conserved residue p.P87L leading to unusually mild disease. Abnormal N- and/or mucin type O-glycosylation was observed in all patients tested. Premature stop codon mutations led to decreased ATP6V0A2 mRNA levels by destabilizing the mutant mRNA via the nonsense-mediated decay pathway. Loss of ATP6V0A2 either by siRNA knockdown or in ARCL2 cells resulted in distended Golgi cisternae, accumulation of abnormal lysosomes and multivesicular bodies. Immunostaining of ARCL2 cells showed the accumulation of tropoelastin (TE) in the Golgi and in large, abnormal intracellular and extracellular aggregates. Pulse–chase studies confirmed impaired secretion and increased intracellular retention of TE, and insoluble elastin assays showed significantly reduced extracellular deposition of mature elastin. Fibrillin-1 microfibril assembly and secreted lysyl oxidase activity were normal in ARCL2 cells. TUNEL staining demonstrated increased rates of apoptosis in ARCL2 cell cultures. We conclude that loss-of-function mutations in ATP6V0A2 lead to TE aggregation in the Golgi, impaired clearance of TE aggregates and increased apoptosis of elastogenic cells.
doi:10.1093/hmg/ddp148
PMCID: PMC2685755  PMID: 19321599
25.  Ovarian Cyst Fluid of Serous Ovarian Tumors Contains Large Quantities of the Brain Amino Acid N-acetylaspartate 
PLoS ONE  2010;5(4):e10293.
Background
In humans, N-acetyl L-aspartate (NAA) has not been detected in other tissues than the brain. The physiological function of NAA is yet undefined. Recently, it has been suggested that NAA may function as a molecular water pump, responsible for the removal of large amounts of water from the human brain. Ovarian tumors typically present as large cystic masses with considerable fluid accumulation.
Methodology and Principal Findings
Using Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry, we demonstrated that NAA was present in a high micromolar concentration in oCF of epithelial ovarian tumors (EOTs) of serous histology, sometimes in the same range as found in the extracellular space of the human brain. In contrast, oCF of EOTs with a mucinous, endometrioid and clear cell histological subtype contained a low micromolar concentration of NAA. Serous EOTs have a cellular differentiation pattern which resembles the lining of the fallopian tube and differs from the other histological subtypes. The NAA concentration in two samples of fluid accumulation in the fallopian tube (hydrosalpinx) was in the same ranges as NAA found in oCF of serous EOTs. The NAA concentration in oCF of patients with serous EOTs was mostly 10 to 50 fold higher than their normal serum NAA concentration, whereas in patients with other EOT subtypes, serum and cyst fluid NAA concentration was comparable.
Conclusions and Significance
The high concentration of NAA in cyst fluid of serous EOTs and low serum concentrations of NAA in these patients, suggest a local production of NAA in serous EOTs. Our findings provide the first identification of NAA concentrations high enough to suggest local production outside the human brain. Our findings contribute to the ongoing research understanding the physiological function of NAA in the human body.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010293
PMCID: PMC2858663  PMID: 20421982

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