[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Short-chain enoyl-CoA hydratase (ECHS1) is a multifunctional mitochondrial matrix enzyme that is involved in the oxidation of fatty acids and essential amino acids such as valine. Here, we describe the broad phenotypic spectrum and pathobiochemistry of individuals with autosomal-recessive ECHS1 deficiency.
Using exome sequencing, we identified ten unrelated individuals carrying compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in ECHS1. Functional investigations in patient-derived fibroblast cell lines included immunoblotting, enzyme activity measurement, and a palmitate loading assay.
Patients showed a heterogeneous phenotype with disease onset in the first year of life and course ranging from neonatal death to survival into adulthood. The most prominent clinical features were encephalopathy (10/10), deafness (9/9), epilepsy (6/9), optic atrophy (6/10), and cardiomyopathy (4/10). Serum lactate was elevated and brain magnetic resonance imaging showed white matter changes or a Leigh-like pattern resembling disorders of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Analysis of patients' fibroblast cell lines (6/10) provided further evidence for the pathogenicity of the respective mutations by showing reduced ECHS1 protein levels and reduced 2-enoyl-CoA hydratase activity. While serum acylcarnitine profiles were largely normal, in vitro palmitate loading of patient fibroblasts revealed increased butyrylcarnitine, unmasking the functional defect in mitochondrial β-oxidation of short-chain fatty acids. Urinary excretion of 2-methyl-2,3-dihydroxybutyrate - a potential derivative of acryloyl-CoA in the valine catabolic pathway - was significantly increased, indicating impaired valine oxidation.
In conclusion, we define the phenotypic spectrum of a new syndrome caused by ECHS1 deficiency. We speculate that both the β-oxidation defect and the block in l-valine metabolism, with accumulation of toxic methacrylyl-CoA and acryloyl-CoA, contribute to the disorder that may be amenable to metabolic treatment approaches.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Ketoacidosis is a potentially lethal condition caused by the imbalance between hepatic production and extrahepatic utilization of ketone bodies. We performed exome sequencing in a patient with recurrent, severe ketoacidosis and identified a homozygous frameshift mutation in the gene encoding monocarboxylate transporter 1 (SLC16A1, also called MCT1). Genetic analysis in 96 patients suspected of having ketolytic defects yielded seven additional inactivating mutations in MCT1, both homozygous and heterozygous. Mutational status was found to be correlated with ketoacidosis severity, MCT1 protein levels, and transport capacity. Thus, MCT1 deficiency is a novel cause of profound ketoacidosis; the present work suggests that MCT1-mediated ketone-body transport is needed to maintain acid-base balance.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · New England Journal of Medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Despite major advances in understanding the pathophysiology of mitochondrial diseases, clinical management of these conditions remains largely supportive, and no effective treatment is available. We therefore assumed that the burden of disease combined with the lack of adequate treatment leaves open a big market for complementary and alternative medicine use. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use and perceived effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine in children and adults with genetically proven mitochondrial disease. The reported use was surprisingly high, with 88 % of children and 91 % of adults having used some kind of complementary and alternative medicine in the last 2 years. Also, the mean cost of these treatments was impressive, being 489/year for children and 359/year for adult patients. Over-the-counter remedies (e.g., food supplements, homeopathy) and self-help techniques (e.g., Reiki, yoga) were the most frequently used complementary and alternative therapies in our cohort: 54 % of children and 60 % of adults reported the various complementary and alternative medicine therapies to be effective. Given the fact that currently no effective treatment exists, further research toward the different therapies is needed, as our study clearly demonstrates that such therapies are highly sought after by affected patients.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2014 · Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This article presents a new Dutch multicenter study (“PKU-COBESO”) into cognitive and behavioral sequelae of early and continuously treated Phenylketonuria (PKU) patients. Part of the study sample will consist of young adult PKU patients who have participated in a large neuropsychological study approximately 10 years ago, when they were 7-to-15-year-olds (Huijbregts et al., 2002 ). Their neurocognitive development will be mapped in association with their earlier and continued metabolic history, taking into account possible changes in, for instance, medication.
Full-text · Article · Oct 2013 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) is present in fetal serum in concentrations up to 5,000,000 μg/l. After birth, AFP gene expression is turned down with a subsequent fall of the serum concentrations of this albumin-like protein to 'adult values' of circa 0.5-15 μg/l from the age of 2 years onwards. Irrespective of its assumed important functions, individuals with AFP deficiency appear fully healthy. The other way around, the presence of AFP in the circulation after the first years of life doesn't seem to harm, since individuals with 'hereditary persistence of AFP' are also without clinical abnormalities. During pregnancy, AFP (in maternal serum) has long been recognized as a marker for congenital anomalies of the fetus. Equally well known is AFP as biomarker for hepatocellular carcinoma and some other malignancies. There are at least four neurodegenerative disorders, all inherited as autosomal recessive traits and characterized by the presence of cerebellar ataxia, abnormal ocular movements, and neuropathy, for which an elevated concentration of serum AFP is an important diagnostic biomarker. The availability of a reliable biomarker is not only important during screening or diagnostic processes, but is also relevant for objective follow-up during (future) therapeutic interventions.
No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · European journal of paediatric neurology: EJPN: official journal of the European Paediatric Neurology Society
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Patients aged 4years 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.
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 8-12years on physical functioning and by children 13-17years 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.
No preview · Article · Sep 2013 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Francisella tularensis is a facultative intracellular bacterium in the class Gammaproteobacteria. This strain is of interest because it is the etiologic agent of tularemia and a highly virulent category A biothreat agent. Here we describe the draft genome sequence and annotation of Francisella tularensis subsp. holarctica BD11-00177, isolated from the first case of indigenous tularemia detected in The Netherlands since 1953. Whole genome DNA sequence analysis assigned this isolate to the genomic group B.FTNF002-00, which previously has been exclusively reported from Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany. Automatic annotation of the 1,813,372 bp draft genome revealed 2,103 protein-coding and 46 RNA genes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: How to efficiently diagnose tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4) responsiveness in patients with phenylketonuria remains unclear. This study investigated the positive predictive value (PPV) of the 48-hour BH4 loading test and the additional value of genotype.
Data of the 48-hour BH4 loading test (20 mg BH4/kg/day) were collected at six Dutch university hospitals. Patients with >=30% phenylalanine reduction at >=1 time points during the 48 hours (potential responders) were invited for the BH4 extension phase, designed to establish true-positive BH4 responsiveness. This is defined as long-term >=30% reduction in mean phenylalanine concentration and/or >=4 g/day and/or >=50% increase of natural protein intake. Genotype was collected if available.
177/183 patients successfully completed the 48-hour BH4 loading test. 80/177 were potential responders and 67/80 completed the BH4 extension phase. In 58/67 true-positive BH4 responsiveness was confirmed (PPV 87%). The genotype was available for 120/177 patients. 41/44 patients with >=1 mutation associated with long-term BH4 responsiveness showed potential BH4 responsiveness in the 48-hour test and 34/41 completed the BH4 extension phase. In 33/34 true-positive BH4 responsiveness was confirmed. 4/40 patients with two known putative null mutations were potential responders; 2/4 performed the BH4 extension phase but showed no true-positive BH4 responsiveness.
The 48-hour BH4 loading test in combination with a classified genotype is a good parameter in predicting true-positive BH4 responsiveness. We propose assessing genotype first, particularly in the neonatal period. Patients with two known putative null mutations can be excluded from BH4 testing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole exome sequencing is a powerful tool to detect novel pathogenic mutations in patients with suspected mitochondrial disease. However, the interpretation of novel genetic variants is not always straightforward. Here, we present two siblings with a severe neonatal encephalopathy caused by complex V deficiency. The aim of this study was to uncover the underlying genetic defect using the combination of enzymatic testing and whole exome sequence analysis, and to provide evidence for causality by functional follow-up. Measurement of the oxygen consumption rate and enzyme analysis in fibroblasts were performed. Immunoblotting techniques were applied to study complex V assembly. The coding regions of the genome were analysed. Three-dimensional modelling was applied. Exome sequencing of the two siblings with complex V deficiency revealed a heterozygous mutation in the ATP5A1 gene, coding for complex V subunit α. The father carried the variant heterozygously. At the messenger RNA level, only the mutated allele was expressed in the patients, whereas the father expressed both the wild-type and the mutant allele. Gene expression data indicate that the maternal allele is not expressed, which is supported by the observation that the ATP5A1 expression levels in the patients and their mother are reduced to ∼50%. Complementation with wild-type ATP5A1 restored complex V in the patient fibroblasts, confirming pathogenicity of the defect. At the protein level, the mutation results in a disturbed interaction of the α-subunit with the β-subunit of complex V, which interferes with the stability of the complex. This study demonstrates the important value of functional studies in the diagnostic work-up of mitochondrial patients, in order to guide genetic variant prioritization, and to validate gene defects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Elevated urinary excretion of 3-methylglutaconic acid is considered rare in patients suspected of a metabolic disorder. In 3-methylglutaconyl-CoA hydratase deficiency (mutations in AUH), it derives from leucine degradation. In all other disorders with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria the origin is unknown, yet mitochondrial dysfunction is thought to be the common denominator. We investigate the biochemical, clinical and genetic data of 388 patients referred to our centre under suspicion of a metabolic disorder showing 3-methylglutaconic aciduria in routine metabolic screening. Furthermore, we investigate 591 patients with 50 different, genetically proven, mitochondrial disorders for the presence of 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. Three percent of all urine samples of the patients referred showed 3-methylglutaconic aciduria, often in correlation with disorders not reported earlier in association with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria (e.g. organic acidurias, urea cycle disorders, haematological and neuromuscular disorders). In the patient cohort with genetically proven mitochondrial disorders 11 % presented 3-methylglutaconic aciduria. It was more frequently seen in ATPase related disorders, with mitochondrial DNA depletion or deletion, but not in patients with single respiratory chain complex deficiencies. Besides, it was a consistent feature of patients with mutations in TAZ, SERAC1, OPA3, DNAJC19 and TMEM70 accounting for mitochondrial membrane related pathology. 3-methylglutaconic aciduria is found quite frequently in patients suspected of a metabolic disorder, and mitochondrial dysfunction is indeed a common denominator. It is only a discriminative feature of patients with mutations in AUH, TAZ, SERAC1, OPA3, DNAJC19
TMEM70. These conditions should therefore be referred to as inborn errors of metabolism with 3-methylglutaconic aciduria as discriminative feature.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Coenzyme Q(10) (ubiquinone or CoQ(10)) serves as a redox carrier in the mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation system. The reduced form of this lipid-soluble antioxidant (ubiquinol) is involved in other metabolic processes as well, such as preventing reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced damage from the mitochondrial membrane. Primary coenzyme Q(10) deficiency is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder, often presenting with neurological and/or muscle involvement. Until now, five patients from four families have been described with primary coenzyme Q(10) deficiency due to mutations in COQ2 encoding para-hydroxybenzoate polyprenyl transferase. Interestingly, four of these patients showed a distinctive renal involvement (focal segmental glomerular sclerosis, crescentic glomerulonephritis, nephrotic syndrome), which is only very rarely seen in correlation with mitochondrial disorders. The fifth patient deceases due to infantile multi organ failure, also with renal involvement. Here we report a novel homozygous mutation in COQ2 (c.905C>T, p.Ala302Val) in a dizygotic twin from consanguineous Turkish parents. The children were born prematurely and died at the age of five and six months, respectively, after an undulating disease course involving apneas, seizures, feeding problems and generalized edema, alternating with relative stable periods without the need of artificial ventilation. There was no evidence for renal involvement. We would like to raise awareness for this potentially treatable disorder which could be under diagnosed in patients with fatal neonatal or infantile multi-organ disease.
No preview · Article · Jan 2013 · Journal of the neurological sciences
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polymerase-γ (POLG) is a major human disease gene and may account for up to 25% of all mitochondrial diseases in the UK and in Italy. To date, >150 different pathogenic mutations have been described in POLG. Some mutations behave as both dominant and recessive alleles, but an autosomal recessive inheritance pattern is much more common. The most frequently detected pathogenic POLG mutation in the Caucasian population is c.1399G>A leading to a p.Ala467Thr missense mutation in the linker domain of the protein. Although many patients are homozygous for this mutation, clinical presentation is highly variable, ranging from childhood-onset Alpers-Huttenlocher syndrome to adult-onset sensory ataxic neuropathy dysarthria and ophthalmoparesis. The reasons for this are not clear, but familial clustering of phenotypes suggests that modifying factors may influence the clinical manifestation. In this study, we collected clinical, histological and biochemical data from 68 patients carrying the homozygous p.Ala467Thr mutation from eight diagnostic centres in Europe and the USA. We performed DNA analysis in 44 of these patients to search for a genetic modifier within POLG and flanking regions potentially involved in the regulation of gene expression, and extended our analysis to other genes affecting mitochondrial DNA maintenance (POLG2, PEO1 and ANT1). The clinical presentation included almost the entire phenotypic spectrum of all known POLG mutations. Interestingly, the clinical presentation was similar in siblings, implying a genetic basis for the phenotypic variability amongst homozygotes. However, the p.Ala467Thr allele was present on a shared haplotype in each affected individual, and there was no correlation between the clinical presentation and genetic variants in any of the analysed nuclear genes. Patients with mitochondrial DNA haplogroup U developed epilepsy significantly less frequently than patients with any other mitochondrial DNA haplotype. Epilepsy was reported significantly more frequently in females than in males, and also showed an association with one of the chromosomal markers defining the POLG haplotype. In conclusion, our clinical results show that the homozygous p.Ala467Thr POLG mutation does not cause discrete phenotypes, as previously suggested, but rather there is a continuum of clinical symptoms. Our results suggest that the mitochondrial DNA background plays an important role in modifying the disease phenotype but nuclear modifiers, epigenetic and environmental factors may also influence the severity of disease.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Since some drug intervention effects are only experienced by the patient, organizations such as the Food and Drug Administration prefer clinically meaningful outcomes measures. Here, we evaluated which symptoms and limitations in daily life are most burdensome to pediatric patients with mitochondrial disorders and their parents, using two questionnaires. In a study of 78 patients, the most burdensome complaints included fatigue, behavior and speech disturbances, epilepsy and muscle weakness and a high degree of limitations in daily activities was found. Importantly, there was a discrepancy between what symptoms metabolic pediatricians estimated would be most burdensome compared to the patients'/caretakers' opinion. To include feasible and relevant outcome measures in intervention studies, the experience and opinions of patients and caretakers should therefore be heard.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Since the introduction of medium-chain acyl coenzyme A dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency in population newborn bloodspot screening (NBS) programs, subjects have been identified with variant ACADM (gene encoding MCAD enzyme) genotypes that have never been identified in clinically ascertained patients. It could be hypothesised that residual MCAD enzyme activity can contribute in risk stratification of subjects with variant ACADM genotypes. METHODS: We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients identified upon population NBS for MCAD deficiency in the Netherlands between 2007-2010. Clinical, molecular, and enzymatic data were integrated. RESULTS: Eighty-four patients from 76 families were identified. Twenty-two percent of the subjects had a variant ACADM genotype. In patients with classical ACADM genotypes, residual MCAD enzyme activity was significantly lower (median 0%, range 0-8%) when compared to subjects with variant ACADM genotypes (range 0-63%; 4 cases with 0%, remainder 20-63%). Patients with (fatal) neonatal presentations before diagnosis displayed residual MCAD enzyme activities <1%. After diagnosis and initiation of treatment, residual MCAD enzyme activities <10% were associated with an increased risk of hypoglycaemia and carnitine supplementation. The prevalence of MCAD deficiency upon screening was 1/8,750 (95% CI 1/7,210-1/11,130). CONCLUSIONS: Determination of residual MCAD enzyme activity improves our understanding of variant ACADM genotypes and may contribute to risk stratification. Subjects with variant ACADM genotypes and residual MCAD enzyme activities <10% should be considered to have the same risks as patients with classical ACADM genotypes. Parental instructions and an emergency regimen will remain principles of the treatment in any type of MCAD deficiency, as the effect of intercurrent illness on residual MCAD enzyme activity remains uncertain. There are, however, arguments in favour of abandoning the general advice to avoid prolonged fasting in subjects with variant ACADM genotypes and 10% residual MCAD enzyme activity.
Full-text · Article · May 2012 · Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 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.
Full-text · Article · May 2011 · Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Er bestaat veel bezorgdheid over suïciderisico bij adolescenten die ernstige brandwonden hebben opgelopen. In dit artikel
wordt een aantal wetenschappelijke inzichten hieromtrent inzichtelijk gemaakt voor de praktijk. De psychosociale aanpassing
van adolescenten met brandwondenletsel verloopt over het algemeen goed. Zij ontwikkelen zich niet anders dan leeftijdgenoten.
Een deel van de adolescenten ontwikkelt psychische klachten zoals een depressie of een posttraumatische stressstoornis. De
omvang van deze groep is niet bekend uit wetenschappelijk onderzoek, evenmin als de kans op suïcide. Waakzaamheid op individueel
niveau lijkt aangewezen, evenals screening en follow-up van posttrauma-psychopathologie. Sociale steun, school en gezin kunnen
een grote bijdrage leveren aan het voorkomen van psychosociale problemen.