Combined methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria (cblC): phenotype-genotype correlations and ethnic-specific observations.

Research paper by Chantal F CF Morel, Jordan P JP Lerner-Ellis, David S DS Rosenblatt

Indexed on: 23 May '06Published on: 23 May '06Published in: Molecular Genetics and Metabolism


Methylmalonic aciduria and homocystinuria, cblC type (MIM 277400), is the most frequent inborn error of vitamin B12 (cobalamin, Cbl) metabolism, caused by an inability of the cell to convert Cbl to both of its active forms (MeCbl, AdoCbl). Although considered a disease of infancy, some patients develop symptoms in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood. The gene responsible for cblC, MMACHC, was recently identified. We studied phenotype-genotype correlations in 37 patients from published case-reports, representing most of the landmark descriptions of this disease. 25/37 had early-onset disease, presenting in the first 6 months of life: 17/25 were found to be either homozygous for the c.271dupA mutation (n=9) or for the c.331C>T mutation (n=3), or compound heterozygotes for these 2 mutations (n=5). 9/12 late-onset cases presented with acute neurological symptoms: 4/9 were homozygous for the c.394C>T mutation, 2/9 were compound heterozygotes for the c.271dupA and c.394C>T mutations, and 3/9, for the c.271dupA mutation and a missense mutation. Several observations on ethnic origins were noted: the c.331C>T mutation is seen in Cajun and French-Canadian patients and the c.394C>T mutation is common in the Asiatic-Indian/Pakistani/Middle Eastern populations. The recognition of phenotype-genotype correlations and the association of mutations with specific ethnicities will be useful for identification of disease-causing mutations in cblC patients, for carrier detection and prenatal diagnosis in families where mutations are known, and in setting up initial screening programs in molecular diagnostic laboratories. Further study into disease mechanism of specific mutations will help to understand phenotypic presentations and the overall pathogenesis in cblC patients.

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