Plasma carnitine ester profile in homozygous and heterozygous OCTN2 deficiency

Department of Medical Genetics and Child Development, University of Pécs, Szigeti út 12., H-7624, Pécs, Hungary.
Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease (Impact Factor: 3.37). 03/2009; 32(S1). DOI: 10.1007/s10545-009-0926-1
Source: PubMed


The carnitine ester spectrum was studied using ESI tandem mass spectrometry in a 2.5-year-old male Roma child with homozygous deletion of 844C of the SLC22A5 gene, presenting with hepatopathy and cardiomyopathy. Besides the dramatic decrease of plasma free carnitine (1.38 vs 32.7 mumol/L in controls) all plasma carnitine esters were severely decreased in the proband: the total esters were 31.4% of the controls. In three heterozygous siblings the free carnitine level was 62.3% of the normal controls, while the levels of the individual carnitine esters ranged between 15.5% and 163% (average 70.9%). The heterozygous parents exhibited the same pattern. The proband was supplemented with 50 mg/kg per day of L: -carnitine oral solution. After 2 months of treatment, his hepatomegaly, elevated transaminases and the pathological cardiac ultrasound parameters normalized. The plasma free carnitine rose to 12.8 mumol/L (39% of the controls). All of the carnitine esters also increased; however, the individual esters were still 8.5-169.7% of the controls (average 55.5%). After 13 months of treatment there was a further increase in free carnitine (15.9 mumol/L) as well as in the level of the individual esters, ranging between 16.1% and 140.3% of the controls (average 66.9%). The data presented here show that, besides the dramatic decrease of free carnitine, the carnitine ester metabolism is also affected in OCTN2 deficiency; the replenishment of the pools under treatment is slow. Despite an impressive clinical improvement, the carnitine metabolism can be still seriously affected.

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    ABSTRACT: Systemic primary carnitine deficiency (CDSP) is caused by recessive mutations in the SLC22A5 (OCTN2) gene encoding the plasmalemmal carnitine transporter and characterized by hypoketotic hypoglycemia, and skeletal and cardiac myopathy. The entire coding regions of the OCTN2 gene were sequenced in 143 unrelated subjects suspected of having CDSP. In 70 unrelated infants evaluated because of abnormal newborn screening (NBS) results, 48 were found to have at least 1 mutation/unclassified missense variant. Twenty-eight of 33 mothers whose infants had abnormal NBS results were found to carry at least 1 mutation/unclassified missense variant, including 11 asymptomatic mothers who had 2 mutations. Therefore, sequencing of the OCTN2 gene is recommended for infants with abnormal NBS results and for their mothers. Conversely, 52 unrelated subjects were tested due to clinical indications other than abnormal NBS and only 14 of them were found to have at least one mutation/unclassified variant. Custom designed oligonucleotide array CGH analysis revealed a heterozygous approximately 1.6 Mb deletion encompassing the entire OCTN2 gene in one subject who was apparently homozygous for the c.680G>A (p.R227H) mutation. Thus, copy number abnormalities at the OCTN2 locus should be considered if by sequencing, an apparently homozygous mutation or only one mutant allele is identified.
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