Thiamine pyrophosphokinase deficiency in encephalopathic children with defects in the pyruvate oxidation pathway.

Research paper by Johannes A JA Mayr, Peter P Freisinger, Kurt K Schlachter, Boris B Rolinski, Franz A FA Zimmermann, Thomas T Scheffner, Tobias B TB Haack, Johannes J Koch, Uwe U Ahting, Holger H Prokisch, Wolfgang W Sperl

Indexed on: 14 Dec '11Published on: 14 Dec '11Published in: The American Journal of Human Genetics


Thiamine pyrophosphate (TPP) is an essential cofactor of the cytosolic transketolase and of three mitochondrial enzymes involved in the oxidative decarboxylation of either pyruvate, α-ketoglutarate or branched chain amino acids. Thiamine is taken up by specific transporters into the cell and converted to the active TPP by thiamine pyrophosphokinase (TPK) in the cytosol from where it can be transported into mitochondria. Here, we report five individuals from three families presenting with variable degrees of ataxia, psychomotor retardation, progressive dystonia, and lactic acidosis. Investigation of the mitochondrial energy metabolism showed reduced oxidation of pyruvate but normal pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity in the presence of excess TPP. A reduced concentration of TPP was found in the muscle and blood. Mutation analysis of TPK1 uncovered three missense, one splice-site, and one frameshift mutation resulting in decreased TPK protein levels.