[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome, a severe developmental disorder associated with multiple congenital anomalies, is caused by a defect of cholesterol biosynthesis. Low cholesterol and high concentrations of its direct precursor, 7-dehydrocholesterol, in plasma and tissues are the diagnostic biochemical hallmarks of the syndrome. The plasma sterol concentrations correlate with severity and disease outcome. Mutations in the DHCR7 gene lead to deficient activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7), the final enzyme of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway. The human DHCR7 gene is localised on chromosome 11q13 and its structure has been characterized. Ninety-one different mutations in the DHCR7 gene have been published to date. This paper is a review of the clinical, biochemical and molecular genetic aspects.
Annals of Human Genetics 06/2003; 67(Pt 3):269-80. DOI:10.1046/j.1469-1809.2003.00034.x
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smith--Lemli--Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by mutations in the DHCR7 gene leading to deficient activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase (DHCR7; EC 18.104.22.168), the final enzyme of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, resulting in low cholesterol and high concentrations of its direct precursor 7-dehydrocholesterol in plasma and tissues. We here report mutations identified in the DHCR7 gene of 13 children diagnosed with SLOS by clinical and biochemical criteria. We found a high frequency of the previously described IVS8--1 G > C splice acceptor site mutation (two homozygotes, eight compound heterozygotes). In addition, 13 missense mutations and one splice acceptor mutation were detected in eleven patients with a mild to moderate SLOS-phenotype. The mutations include three novel missense mutations (W182L, C183Y, F255L) and one novel splice acceptor site mutation (IVS8--1 G > T). Two patients, homozygous for the IVS8--1 G > C mutation, presented with a severe clinical phenotype and died shortly after birth. Seven patients with a mild to moderate SLOS-phenotype disclosed compound heterozygosity of the IVS8--1 G > C mutation in combination with different novel and known missense mutations.
Annals of Human Genetics 05/2001; 65(Pt 3):229-36. DOI:10.1017/S0003480001008600
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS) is caused by deficient Delta(7)-dehydrocholesterol reductase, which catalyzes the final step of the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, resulting in low cholesterol and high concentrations of its direct precursors 7-dehydrocholesterol (7DHC) and 8DHC. We hypothesized that i) 7DHC and 8DHC accumulation contributes to the poor outcome of SLOS patients and ii) blood exchange transfusions with hydroxymethylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA reductase inhibition would improve the precursor-to-cholesterol ratio and may improve the clinical outcome of SLO patients. First, an in vitro study was performed to study sterol exchange between plasma and erythrocyte membranes. Second, several exchange transfusions were carried out in vivo in two SLOS patients. Third, simvastatin was given for 23 and 14 months to two patients. The in vitro results illustrated rapid sterol exchange between plasma and erythrocyte membranes. The effect of exchange transfusion was impressive and prompt but the effect on plasma sterol levels lasted only for 3 days. In contrast, simvastatin treatment for several months demonstrated a lasting improvement of the precursor-to-cholesterol ratio in plasma, erythrocyte membranes, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Plasma precursor concentrations decreased to 28 and 33% of the initial level, respectively, whereas the cholesterol concentration normalized by a more than twofold increase. During the follow-up period all morphometric parameters improved. The therapy was well tolerated and no unwanted clinical side effects occurred. This is the first study in which the blood cholesterol level in SLOS patients is normalized with a simultaneous significant decrease in precursor levels. There was a lasting biochemical improvement with encouraging clinical improvement. Statin therapy is a promising novel approach in SLOS that deserves further studies in larger series of patients.
The Journal of Lipid Research 09/2000; 41(8):1339-46.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome is a frequently occurring autosomal recessive developmental disorder characterized by facial dysmorphisms, mental retardation, and multiple congenital anomalies. Biochemically, the disorder is caused by deficient activity of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase, which catalyzes the final step in the cholesterol-biosynthesis pathway-that is, the reduction of the Delta7 double bond of 7-dehydrocholesterol to produce cholesterol. We identified a partial transcript coding for human 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase by searching the database of expressed sequence tags with the amino acid sequence for the Arabidopsis thaliana sterol Delta7-reductase and isolated the remaining 5' sequence by the "rapid amplification of cDNA ends" method, or 5'-RACE. The cDNA has an open reading frame of 1,425 bp coding for a polypeptide of 475 amino acids with a calculated molecular weight of 54.5 kD. Heterologous expression of the cDNA in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae confirmed that it codes for 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase. Chromosomal mapping experiments localized the gene to chromosome 11q13. Sequence analysis of fibroblast 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase cDNA from three patients with Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome revealed distinct mutations, including a 134-bp insertion and three different point mutations, each of which was heterozygous in cDNA from the respective parents. Our data demonstrate that Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome is caused by mutations in the gene coding for 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 08/1998; 63(2):329-338. DOI:10.1086/301982
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Three neonatal patients, one girl and two boys, presented with infantile Pompe's disease. A generalized hypotonia with decreased tendon reflexes and heart failure due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy dominated the clinical picture in all three; these symptoms are uniformly and characteristically present. This autosomal recessive glycogen storage disease is caused by a deficiency of lysosomal alpha-glucosidase. The diagnosis, suspected on the basis of the characteristic clinical picture and the results of simple laboratory tests, is made by measurement of the enzymatic activity or DNA analysis. Most patients die in their first year of life, no treatment being available.
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 07/1998; 142(24):1388-92.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Correct quantitative results for plasma cholesterol, 7-dehydrocholesterol (7-DHC), and 8-dehydrocholesterol (8-DHC) are invaluable for making the correct diagnosis in patients with the Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLO) and for biochemical monitoring of these patients during therapy. The enzymatic method for cholesterol measurement based on cholesterol oxidase gives falsely high values for plasma cholesterol in samples from patients with SLO. Both 7-DHC and 8-DHC contribute substantially to the test result, given that they are accepted substrates of cholesterol oxidase. All cholesterol methods making use of this enzyme are expected to give unreliable results with plasma samples from SLO patients. Cholesterol values found with these methods may be low-normal in individual cases with SLO. Therefore, other techniques for measuring cholesterol, 7-DHC, and 8-DHC, e.g., gas chromatography, should be used for diagnosing these patients and for follow-up during therapy. However, a normal value for plasma cholesterol, as obtained by gas chromatography, does not exclude SLO. The diagnosis should always be confirmed or excluded by testing for the presence of high concentrations of 7-DHC and 8-DHC in plasma. We found that one patient with a severe form of the disease had a plasma cholesterol concentration of 20 micromol/L-to our knowledge, the lowest value ever recorded in a human being.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In a male neonate dysmaturity, microcephalia, a high nasal bridge, a long philtrum, broad dental ridges, schisis of the palatum molle, retrognathia, a small penis with a chorda, a small scrotum, bilateral inguinal hernia and bilateral syndactyly of the second and third toes were observed. The presence of the Smith-Lemli-Opitz (SLO) syndrome was suspected. By gas chromatography a severely decreased plasma cholesterol level (0.27 mmol/l) was found and an increased plasma 7-dehydrocholesterol level (0.24 mmol/l). The SLO syndrome is caused by a block in the cholesterol biosynthesis due to the autosomal recessive deficiency of 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase. The patient's condition improved with use of a cholesterol-enriched diet.
Nederlands tijdschrift voor geneeskunde 08/1996; 140(28):1463-6.