F W Verheijen

Leiden University Medical Centre, Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands

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Publications (78)429.81 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in WDR62 are associated with primary microcephaly; however, they have been reported with wide phenotypic variability. We report on six individuals with novel WDR62 mutations who illustrate this variability and describe three in greater detail. Of the three, one lacks neuromotor development and has severe pachygyria on MRI, another has only delayed speech and motor development and moderate polymicrogyria, and the third has an intermediate phenotype. We observed a rare copy number change of unknown significance, a 17q25qter duplication, in the first severely affected individual. The 17q25 duplication included an interesting candidate gene, tubulin cofactor D (TBCD), crucial in microtubule assembly and disassembly. Sequencing of the non-duplicated allele showed a TBCD missense mutation, predicted to cause a deleterious p.Phe1121Val substitution. Sequencing of a cohort of five patients with WDR62 mutations, including one with an identical mutation and different phenotype, plus 12 individuals with diagnosis of microlissencephaly and another individual with mild intellectual disability (ID) and a 17q25 duplication, did not reveal TBCD mutations. However, immunostaining with tubulin antibodies of cells from patients with both WDR62 and TBCD mutation showed abnormal tubulin network when compared to controls and cells with only the WDR62 mutation. Therefore, we propose that genetic factors contribute to modify the severity of the WDR62 phenotype and, although based on suggestive evidence, TBCD could function as one of such factors. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
    American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A 05/2014; · 2.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Data sharing is essential for a better understanding of genetic disorders. Good phenotype coding plays a key role in this process. Unfortunately, the two most widely used coding systems in medicine, ICD-10 and SNOMED-CT, lack information necessary for the detailed classification and annotation of rare and genetic disorders. This prevents the optimal registration of such patients in databases and thus data-sharing efforts. In order to improve care and to facilitate research for patients with metabolic disorders we developed a new coding system for metabolic diseases with a dedicated group of clinical specialists. Next, we compared the resulting codes with those in ICD and SNOMED-CT. No matches were found in 76% of cases in ICD-10 and in 54% in SNOMED-CT. We conclude that there are sizable gaps in the SNOMED-CT and ICD coding systems for metabolic disorders. There may be similar gaps for other classes of rare and genetic disorders. We have demonstrated that expert groups can help in addressing such coding issues. Our coding system has been made available to the ICD and SNOMED-CT organizations as well as to the Orphanet and HPO organizations for further public application and updates will be published online (www.ddrmd.nl and www.cineas.org).
    Human Mutation 03/2013; · 5.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Spinocerebellar ataxias are phenotypically, neuropathologically and genetically heterogeneous. The locus of autosomal recessive spinocerebellar ataxia type 7 (SCAR7) was previously linked to chromosome band 11p15. We have identified TPP1 as the causative gene for SCAR7 by exome sequencing. A missense and a splice site variant in TPP1, cosegregating with the disease, were found in a previously described SCAR7 family and also in another patient with a SCAR7 phenotype. TPP1, encoding the tripeptidyl peptidase 1 enzyme, is known as the causative gene for late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis disease 2 (CLN2 disease). CLN2 disease is characterized by epilepsy, loss of vision, ataxia and a rapidly progressive course, leading to early death. SCAR7 patients showed ataxia and low activity of tripeptidyl peptidase 1, but no ophthalmologic abnormalities or epilepsy. Also, the slowly progressive evolution of the disease until old age and absence of ultra structural curvilinear profiles is different from the known CLN2 phenotypes. Our findings now expand the phenotypes related to TPP1-variants to SCAR7. In spite of the limited sample size and measurements a putative genotype-phenotype correlation may be drawn: we hypothesize that loss of function variants abolishing TPP1 enzyme activity lead to CLN2 disease, while variants that diminish TPP1 enzyme activity lead to SCAR7.
    Human Mutation 02/2013; · 5.21 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We present a neurodegenerative disorder starting in early childhood of two brothers consisting of severe progressive polyneuropathy, severe progressive cerebellar atrophy, microcephaly, mild epilepsy, and intellectual disability. The cause of this rare syndrome was found to be a homozygous mutation (c.1250_1266dup, resulting in a frameshift p.Thr424GlyfsX48) in PNKP, identified by applying homozygosity mapping and whole-genome sequencing. Mutations in PNKP have previously been associated with a syndrome of microcephaly, seizures and developmental delay (MIM 613402), but not with a neurodegenerative disorder. PNKP is a dual-function enzyme with a key role in different pathways of DNA damage repair. DNA repair disorders can result in accelerated cell death, leading to underdevelopment and neurodegeneration. In skin fibroblasts from both affected individuals, we show increased susceptibility to apoptosis under stress conditions and reduced PNKP expression. PNKP is known to interact with DNA repair proteins involved in the onset of polyneuropathy and cerebellar degeneration; therefore, our findings explain this novel phenotype.
    Neurogenetics 12/2012; · 3.58 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Polymicrogyria is a malformation of the developing cerebral cortex caused by abnormal organization and characterized by many small gyri and fusion of the outer molecular layer. We have identified autosomal-recessive mutations in RTTN, encoding Rotatin, in individuals with bilateral diffuse polymicrogyria from two separate families. Rotatin determines early embryonic axial rotation, as well as anteroposterior and dorsoventral patterning in the mouse. Human Rotatin has recently been identified as a centrosome-associated protein. The Drosophila melanogaster homolog of Rotatin, Ana3, is needed for structural integrity of centrioles and basal bodies and maintenance of sensory neurons. We show that Rotatin colocalizes with the basal bodies at the primary cilium. Cultured fibroblasts from affected individuals have structural abnormalities of the cilia and exhibit downregulation of BMP4, WNT5A, and WNT2B, which are key regulators of cortical patterning and are expressed at the cortical hem, the cortex-organizing center that gives rise to Cajal-Retzius (CR) neurons. Interestingly, we have shown that in mouse embryos, Rotatin colocalizes with CR neurons at the subpial marginal zone. Knockdown experiments in human fibroblasts and neural stem cells confirm a role for RTTN in cilia structure and function. RTTN mutations therefore link aberrant ciliary function to abnormal development and organization of the cortex in human individuals.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2012; 91(3):533-40. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Het klinisch beeld van erfelijke metabole ziekten (EMZ) is zeer variabel, van bijzonder mild tot niet-verenigbaar met het leven. Deze klinische heterogeniteit in combinatie met de zeldzaamheid van individuele EMZ kan het stellen van een diagnose bemoeilijken. Recente ontwikkelingen in zowel de diagnostiek als de behandeling van EMZ hebben de prognose voor patiënten met EMZ aanzienlijk verbeterd en maken het essentieel dat er voldoende kennis van deze aandoeningen is bij (kinder)artsen. Om tot een snelle en nauwkeurige diagnose van EMZ te komen, is gespecialiseerde diagnostiek vereist naar (1) metabolietconcentraties in bloed en urine, (2) enzymactiviteit(en) in bloedcellen, gekweekte huidfibroblasten of weefselbiopten, en (3) genmutaties. Dit artikel beschrijft een aantal kanten van deze drie niveaus van laboratoriumdiagnostiek van EMZ, waaronder mogelijkheden en beperkingen, maar ook praktische aspecten zoals in te zenden monsters. Vanwege de complexiteit van genetische metabole aandoeningen willen wij in dit artikel onderstrepen dat overleg tussen aanvrager en laboratorium enerzijds en laboratoria onderling anderzijds van groot belang is. Dit geldt in het bijzonder voor de lysosomale stapelingsziekten, waarvoor gericht inzetten van diagnostiek een voorwaarde is om tot de juiste diagnose te komen.
    Tijdschrift voor kindergeneeskunde 04/2012; 2010(2):49-56.
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    ABSTRACT: Familial porencephaly, leukoencephalopathy and small-vessel disease belong to the spectrum of disorders ascribed to dominant mutations in the gene encoding for type IV collagen alpha-1 (COL4A1). Mice harbouring mutations in either Col4a1 or Col4a2 suffer from porencephaly, hydrocephalus, cerebral and ocular bleeding and developmental defects. We observed porencephaly and white matter lesions in members from two families that lack COL4A1 mutations. We hypothesized that COL4A2 mutations confer genetic predisposition to porencephaly, therefore we sequenced COL4A2 in the family members and characterized clinical, neuroradiological and biochemical phenotypes. Genomic sequencing of COL4A2 identified the heterozygous missense G1389R in exon 44 in one family and the c.3206delC change in exon 34 leading to frame shift and premature stop, in the second family. Fragmentation and duplication of epidermal basement membranes were observed by electron microscopy in a c.3206delC patient skin biopsy, consistent with abnormal collagen IV network. Collagen chain accumulation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress have been proposed as cellular mechanism in COL4A1 mutations. In COL4A2 (3206delC) fibroblasts we detected increased rates of apoptosis and no signs of ER stress. Mutation phenotypes varied, including porencephaly, white matter lesions, cerebellar and optic nerve hypoplasia and unruptured carotid aneurysm. In the second family however, we found evidence for additional factors contributing to the phenotype. We conclude that dominant COL4A2 mutations are a novel major risk factor for familial cerebrovascular disease, including porencephaly and small-vessel disease with reduced penetrance and variable phenotype, which might also be modified by other contributing factors.
    European journal of human genetics: EJHG 02/2012; 20(8):844-51. · 3.56 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We describe a syndrome of primary microcephaly with simplified gyral pattern in combination with severe infantile epileptic encephalopathy and early-onset permanent diabetes in two unrelated consanguineous families with at least three affected children. Linkage analysis revealed a region on chromosome 18 with a significant LOD score of 4.3. In this area, two homozygous nonconserved missense mutations in immediate early response 3 interacting protein 1 (IER3IP1) were found in patients from both families. IER3IP1 is highly expressed in the fetal brain cortex and fetal pancreas and is thought to be involved in endoplasmic reticulum stress response. We reported one of these families previously in a paper on Wolcott-Rallison syndrome (WRS). WRS is characterized by increased apoptotic cell death as part of an uncontrolled unfolded protein response. Increased apoptosis has been shown to be a cause of microcephaly in animal models. An autopsy specimen from one patient showed increased apoptosis in the cerebral cortex and pancreas beta cells, implicating premature cell death as the pathogenetic mechanism. Both patient fibroblasts and control fibroblasts treated with siRNA specific for IER3IP1 showed an increased susceptibility to apoptotic cell death under stress conditions in comparison to controls. This directly implicates IER3IP1 in the regulation of cell survival. Identification of IER3IP1 mutations sheds light on the mechanisms of brain development and on the pathogenesis of infantile epilepsy and early-onset permanent diabetes.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/2011; 89(2):265-76. · 11.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dried blood spot (DBS) methods are currently available for identification of a range of lysosomal storage disorders (LSDs). These disorders are generally characterized by a deficiency of activity of a lysosomal enzyme and by a broad spectrum of phenotypes. Diagnosis of LSD patients is often delayed, which is of particular concern as therapeutic outcomes (e.g. enzyme replacement therapy) are generally more favorable in early disease stages. Experts in the field of LSDs diagnostics and screening programs convened and reviewed experiences with the use of DBS methods, and discuss the diagnostic challenges, possible applications and quality programs in this paper. Given the easy sampling and shipping and stability of samples, DBS has evident advantages over other laboratory methods and can be particularly helpful in the early identification of affected LSD patients through neonatal screening, high-risk population screening or family screening.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 07/2011; 104(1-2):144-8. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Sialic acid storage disease (SASD) is an inborn error resulting from defects in the lysosomal membrane protein sialin. The SASD phenotypical spectrum ranges from a severe presentation, infantile sialic acid storage disease (ISSD) which may present as hydrops fetalis, to a relatively mild form, Salla disease. Screening for SASD is performed by determination of free sialic acid (FSA) in urine or amniotic fluid supernatant (AFS). Subsequent diagnosis of SASD is performed by quantification of FSA in cultured fibroblasts and by mutation analysis of the sialin gene, SLC17A5. We describe simple quantitative procedures to determine FSA as well as conjugated sialic acid in AFS, and FSA in cultured fibroblasts, using isotope dilution ((13)C(3)-sialic acid) and multiple reaction monitoring LC-ESI-MS/MS. The whole procedure can be performed in 2-4 h. Reference values in AFS were 0-8.2 μmol/L for 15-25 weeks of gestation and 3.2-12.0 μmol/L for 26-38 weeks of gestation. In AFS samples from five fetuses affected with ISSD FSA was 23.9-58.9 μmol/L demonstrating that this method is able to discriminate ISSD pregnancies from normal ones. The method was also validated for determination of FSA in fibroblast homogenates. FSA in SASD fibroblasts (ISSD; 20-154 nmol/mg protein, intermediate SASD; 12.9-15.1 nmol/mg, Salla disease; 5.9-7.4 nmol/mg) was clearly elevated compared to normal controls (0.3-2.2 nmol/mg). In conclusion, we report simple quantitative procedures to determine FSA in AFS and cultured fibroblasts improving both prenatal diagnostic efficacy for ISSD as well as confirmatory testing in cultured fibroblasts following initial screening in urine or AFS.
    Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 05/2011; 34(5):1069-73. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The high frequency (3.3-3.9%) of acid α-glucosidase pseudodeficiency, c.[1726G>A; 2065G>A] homozygote (AA homozygote), in Asian populations complicates newborn screening for Pompe disease (glycogen storage disease type II or acid maltase deficiency) on dried blood spots, since AA homozygotes have a considerably low enzyme activity. We observed that hemoglobin in the enzyme reaction solution strongly interferes with the fluorescence of 4-methylumbelliferone released from 4-methylumbelliferyl α-D-glucopyranoside (4MU-αGlc) by acid α-glucosidase. Therefore, we have searched for a method to effectively eliminate hemoglobin in the reaction solution. Hemoglobin precipitation with barium hydroxide and zinc sulfate (Ba/Zn method) carried out after the enzyme reaction considerably enhances the fluorescence intensity while it does not reduce the intensity to any extent as can occur with conventional deproteinization agents like trichloroacetic acid. The Ba/Zn method greatly improved the separation between 18 Japanese patients with Pompe disease and 70 unaffected AA homozygotes in a population of Japanese newborns in the assay with 4MU-αGlc on dried blood spots. No overlap was observed between both groups. We further examined acid α-glucosidase activity in fibroblasts from 11 Japanese patients and 57 Japanese unaffected individuals including 31 c.[1726G; 2065G] homozygotes, 18 c.[1726G; 2065G]/[1726A; 2065A] heterozygotes and 8 AA homozygotes to confirm that fibroblasts can be used for definitive diagnosis. The patients were reliably distinguished from three control groups. These data provide advanced information for the development of a simple and reliable newborn screening program with dried blood spots for Pompe disease in Asian populations.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 05/2011; 103(1):12-7. · 2.83 Impact Factor
  • Neurology 03/2011; 76(9):844-6. · 8.30 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the F-box only protein 7 gene (FBXO7) cause PARK15, an autosomal recessive neurodegenerative disease presenting with severe levodopa-responsive parkinsonism and pyramidal disturbances. Understanding the PARK15 pathogenesis might thus provide clues on the mechanisms of maintenance of brain dopaminergic neurons, the same which are lost in Parkinson's disease. The protein(s) encoded by FBXO7 remain very poorly characterized. Here, we show that two protein isoforms are expressed from the FBXO7 gene in normal human cells. The isoform 1 is more abundant, particularly in primary skin fibroblasts. Both isoforms are undetectable in cell lines from the PARK15 patient of an Italian family; the isoform 1 is undetectable and the isoform 2 is severely decreased in the patients from a Dutch PARK15 family. In human cell lines and mouse primary neurons, the endogenous or over-expressed, wild type FBXO7 isoform 1 displays mostly a diffuse nuclear localization. An intact N-terminus is needed for the nuclear FBXO7 localization, as N-terminal modification by PARK15-linked missense mutation, or N-terminus tag leads to cytoplasmic mislocalization. Furthermore, the N-terminus of wild type FBXO7 (but not of mutant FBXO7) is able to confer nuclear localization to profilin (a cytoplasmic protein). Our data also suggest that overexpressed mutant FBXO7 proteins (T22M, R378G and R498X) have decreased stability compared to their wild type counterpart. In human brain, FBXO7 immunoreactivity was highest in the nuclei of neurons throughout the cerebral cortex, intermediate in the globus pallidum and the substantia nigra, and lowest in the hippocampus and cerebellum. In conclusion, the common cellular abnormality found in the PARK15 patients from the Dutch and Italian families is the depletion of the FBXO7 isoform 1, which normally localizes in the cell nucleus. The activity of FBXO7 in the nucleus appears therefore crucial for the maintenance of brain neurons and the pathogenesis of PARK15.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(2):e16983. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: 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.
    Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 12/2010; 33(6):759-67. · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormone (TH) is crucial for normal brain development. TH transporters control TH homeostasis in brain as evidenced by the complex endocrine and neurological phenotype of patients with mutations in monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8). We investigated the mechanisms of disease by analyzing gene expression profiles in fibroblasts from patients with MCT8 mutations. Studying MCT8 and its transcriptional context in different comprehensive spatial and temporal human brain transcriptome data sets revealed distinct region-specific MCT8 expression. Furthermore, MCT8 demonstrated a clear age-dependent decrease, suggesting its importance in early brain development. Performing comparative transcriptome analysis, we linked the genes differentially expressed (DE) in patient fibroblasts to the human brain transcriptome. DE genes in patient fibroblasts were strongly over-represented among genes highly correlated with MCT8 expression in brain. Furthermore, using the same approach we identified which genes in the classical TH signaling pathway are affected in patients. Finally, we provide evidence that the TRα2 receptor variant is closely connected to MCT8. The present study provides a molecular basis for understanding which pathways are likely affected in the brains of patients with mutations in MCT8. Our data regarding a functional relationship between MCT8 and TRα2 suggest an unanticipated role for TRα2 in the (patho)physiology of TH signaling in the brain. This study demonstrates how genome-wide expression data from patient-derived non-neuronal tissue related to the human brain transcriptome may be successfully employed to improve our understanding of neurological disease.
    Human Molecular Genetics 11/2010; 19(21):4189-200. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Acute liver failure may be caused by a variety of disorders including inborn errors of metabolism. In those cases, rapid metabolic investigations and adequate treatment may avoid the need for liver transplantation. We report two patients who presented with acute liver failure and were referred to our center for liver transplantation work-up. Urgent metabolic investigations revealed citrullinemia type I. Treatment for citrullinemia type I avoided the need for liver transplantation. Acute liver failure as a presentation of citrullinemia type I has not previously been reported in young children. Although acute liver failure has occasionally been described in other urea cycle disorders, these disorders may be underestimated as a cause. Timely diagnosis and treatment of these disorders may avoid liver transplantation and improve clinical outcome. Therefore, urea cycle disorders should be included in the differential diagnosis in young children presenting with acute liver failure.
    Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 09/2010; · 4.07 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Derivatives of 4-methylumbelliferone (4MU) are favorite substrates for the measurement of lysosomal enzyme activities in a wide variety of cell and tissue specimens. Hydrolysis of these artificial substrates at acidic pH leads to the formation of 4-methylumbelliferone, which is highly fluorescent at a pH above 10. When used for the assay of enzyme activities in dried blood spots the light emission signal can be very low due to the small sample size so that the patient and control ranges are not widely separated. We have investigated the hypothesis that quenching of the fluorescence by hemoglobin leads to appreciable loss of signal and we show that the precipitation of hemoglobin with trichloroacetic acid prior to the measurement of 4-methylumbelliferone increases the height of the output signal up to eight fold. The modified method provides a clear separation of patients' and controls' ranges for ten different lysosomal enzyme assays in dried blood spots, and approaches the conventional leukocyte assays in outcome quality.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 09/2010; 102(1):44-8. · 2.83 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Hurler syndrome (HS), the most severe phenotype in the spectrum of mucopolysaccharidosis type I, is caused by a deficiency of the lysosomal enzyme alpha-L-iduronidase (IDUA). At present, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only treatment able to prevent disease progression in the central nervous system, and therefore considered the treatment of choice in HS patients. Because IDUA enzyme activities after HSCT have been suggested to influence the prognosis of HS patients, monitoring these activities after HSCT remains highly important. The use of dried blood spots (DBS) for enzyme analysis can be a useful alternative to the conventional leukocyte assay. Importantly, this method allows for convenient worldwide shipment, and can therefore be applied to monitor patients from larger areas of the world, or during large-scale international studies. Furthermore, this method requires only a minimal amount of blood. From 13 HS patients receiving HSCT, 36 paired whole blood and DBS samples were analyzed to assess leukocyte and DBS IDUA activities, respectively. To correct for potential interfering factors, simultaneous assay of the alpha-Galactosidase-A (AGA) activity was performed in the DBS samples and an IDUA/AGA ratio was calculated. A strong linear correlation was demonstrated between the DBS IDUA/AGA ratio and the leukocyte IDUA activity (r(2) = .875, P < .001). This correlation was applicable to all enzyme activities, including the activities measured early after HSCT as well as heterozygous activities because of mixed chimerism or the use of a carrier donor. These results demonstrate that the DBS method is reliable to monitor the biochemical effect of HSCT in HS patients.
    Biology of blood and marrow transplantation: journal of the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation 05/2010; 16(5):701-4. · 3.15 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

1k Citations
429.81 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2013
    • Leiden University Medical Centre
      Leyden, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2000–2013
    • Erasmus MC
      • • Department of Clinical Genetics
      • • Department of Bioinformatics
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 1982–2012
    • Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam
      • Department of Clinical Genetics
      Rotterdam, South Holland, Netherlands
  • 2002
    • Università degli Studi di Genova
      • Dipartimento di Medicina sperimentale (DIMES)
      Genova, Liguria, Italy
  • 1991
    • University of Turku
      Turku, Province of Western Finland, Finland
  • 1988
    • Universiteit Utrecht
      • Division of Organic Chemistry and Catalysis
      Utrecht, Provincie Utrecht, Netherlands
  • 1979
    • The University of Tokyo
      Tōkyō, Japan