Optimizing the use of sapropterin (BH4) in the management of phenylketonuria

Division of Clinical Chemistry and Biochemistry, University Children's Hospital, Steinwiesstrasse 75, CH-8032 Zürich, Switzerland.
Molecular Genetics and Metabolism (Impact Factor: 2.83). 03/2009; 96(4):158-63. DOI: 10.1016/j.ymgme.2009.01.002
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Phenylketonuria (PKU) is caused by mutations in the phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) gene, leading to deficient conversion of phenylalanine (Phe) to tyrosine and accumulation of toxic levels of Phe. A Phe-restricted diet is essential to reduce blood Phe levels and prevent long-term neurological impairment and other adverse sequelae. This diet is commenced within the first few weeks of life and current recommendations favor lifelong diet therapy. The observation of clinically significant reductions in blood Phe levels in a subset of patients with PKU following oral administration of 6R-tetrahydrobiopterin dihydrochloride (BH(4)), a cofactor of PAH, raises the prospect of oral pharmacotherapy for PKU. An orally active formulation of BH(4) (sapropterin dihydrochloride; Kuvan is now commercially available. Clinical studies suggest that treatment with sapropterin provides better Phe control and increases dietary Phe tolerance, allowing significant relaxation, or even discontinuation, of dietary Phe restriction. Firstly, patients who may respond to this treatment need to be identified. We propose an initial 48-h loading test, followed by a 1-4-week trial of sapropterin and subsequent adjustment of the sapropterin dosage and dietary Phe intake to optimize blood Phe control. Overall, sapropterin represents a major advance in the management of PKU.

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    ABSTRACT: Background Phenylketonuria (PKU) is a rare inborn error of metabolism caused by phenylalanine hydroxylase enzyme (PAH) deficiency. Treatment constitutes a strict Phe restricted diet with unpalatable amino acid supplements. Residual PAH activity enhancement with its cofactor tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) is a novel treatment which increases dietary tolerance in some patients and permits dietary relaxation. Relaxation of diet may improve health related quality of life (HRQoL). This prospective cohort study aims to evaluate HRQoL of patients with PKU and effects of BH4 treatment on HRQoL. Methods Patients aged 4 years and older, diagnosed through newborn screening and early and continuously treated, were recruited from eight metabolic centers. Patients and mothers completed validated generic and chronic health-conditions HRQoL questionnaires (PedsQL, TAAQOL, and DISABKIDS) twice: before and after testing BH4 responsivity. Baseline results were compared to the general population. Data collected after BH4 testing was used to find differences in HRQoL between BH4 unresponsive patients and BH4 responsive patients after one year of treatment with BH4. Also a within patient comparison was performed to find differences in HRQoL before and after treatment with BH4. Results 69/81 (85%) patients completed the questionnaires before BH4 responsivity testing, and 45/69 (65%) participated again after testing. Overall PKU patients demonstrated normal HRQoL. However, some significant differences were found when compared to the general population. A significantly higher (thus better) score on the PedsQL was reported by children 8–12 years on physical functioning and by children 13–17 years on total and psychosocial functioning. Furthermore, adult patients reported significantly lower (thus worse) scores in the TAAQOL cognitive domain. 10 patients proved to be responsive to BH4 treatment; however improvement in their HRQoL after relaxation of diet could not be demonstrated. Abbreviations AMC, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam; BH4, tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4); DISABKIDS, The DISABKIDS chronic generic module; HRQoL, health related quality of life; PAH, phenylalanine hydroxylase; PedsQL, Pediatric Quality of Life Inventory Measurement Model ™; Phe, phenylalanine; PKU, phenylketonuria; TAAQOL, TNO-AZL Adult Quality of Life; SD, standard deviation Keywords PKU; Phenylketonuria; Health related quality of life; Quality of life; HRQoL; QoL
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 10/2013; · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We investigated the mutation spectrum of the phenylalanine hydroxylase gene (PAH) in a cohort of patients from 135 Slovak PKU families. Mutational screening of the known coding region, including conventional intron splice sites, was performed using high-resolution melting analysis, with subsequent sequencing analysis of the samples showing deviated melting profiles compared to control samples. The PAH gene was also screened for deletions and duplications using MLPA analysis. Forty-eight different disease causing mutations were identified in our patient group, including 30 missense, 8 splicing, 7 nonsense, 2 large deletions and 1 small deletion with frameshift; giving a detection rate of 97.6%. The most prevalent mutation was the p.R408W, occurring in 47% of all alleles, which concurs with results from neighbouring and other Slavic countries. Other frequent mutations were: p.R158Q (5.3%), IVS12+1G>A (5.3%), p.R252W (5.1%), p.R261Q (3.9%) and p.A403V (3.6%). We also identified three novel missense mutations: p.F233I, p.R270I, p.F331S and one novel variant: c.-30A>T in the proximal part of the PAH gene promoter. A spectrum of 84 different genotypes was observed and a genotype based predictions of BH4-responsiveness were assessed. Among all genotypes, 36 were predicted to be BH4-responsive represented by 51 PKU families. In addition, genotype-phenotype correlations were performed.
    Gene 06/2013; 526(2). DOI:10.1016/j.gene.2013.05.057 · 2.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Phenylketonuria (PKU) is caused by mutations in the gene encoding phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) enzyme. Here, we report the updated spectrum of PAH mutations in 61 Serbian PKU patients. By using both DGGE/DNA sequencing and PCR-RFLP, we identified 26 disease-causing mutations (detection rate 99%). The most frequent ones were p.L48S (31%), p.R408W (16.4%), p.P281L (6%), p.E390G (5.2%), and p.I306V (5.2%). Homozygosity value indicated high heterogeneity of Serbian population.To overcome possible pitfalls of patients' phenotypic classification, we used two parameters: pretreatment/maximal phenylalanine blood concentration and Phe tolerance. The two phenotypes did not match only for patients with p.L48S. Therefore, we used Mann-Whitney statistical test to compare pretreatment/maximal blood Phe concentration and Phe tolerance detected in patients with p.[L48S];[null] and p.[missense];[null] genotypes. For patients with p.L48S, our results implied that Phe tolerance is a better parameter for phenotypic classification. Also, Fisher's exact test was used to compare p.L48S effect on phenotype of homozygous and functionally hemizygous patients. Our findings showed that effect of p.L48S was altered in functional hemizygotes. Moreover, phenotypic inconsistency found in homozygotes suggested that interallelic complementation and/or additional factors play a role in genotype-phenotype correlation.Since BH4-supplementation therapy is not available in Serbia, we made the first estimation of its potential benefit based on patients' genotypes. In the analyzed cohort, the total frequency of BH4-responsive mutations was 52.6%. Furthermore, we found a significant number of genotypes (26.2% BH4-responsive and 51% probably BH4-responsive) that may respond to BH4 therapy. This led us to a conclusion that BH4-supplementation therapy could bring benefit to Serbian PKU patients.
    01/2013; 9:49-58. DOI:10.1007/8904_2012_178