JOURNAL ARTICLE

Distinction between peroxisomal bifunctional enzyme and acyl-CoA oxidase deficiencies

P A Watkins, M C McGuinness, G V Raymond, B A Hicks, J M Sisk, A B Moser, H W Moser
Annals of Neurology 1995, 38 (3): 472-7
7668838
The clinical distinction between patients with a disorder of peroxisome assembly (e.g., Zellweger syndrome) and those with a defect in a peroxisomal fatty acid beta-oxidation enzyme can be difficult. We studied 29 patients suspected of belonging to the latter group. Using complementation analysis, 24 were found to be deficient in enoylcoenzyme A hydratase/3-hydroxyacylcoenzyme A dehydrogenase bifunctional enzyme and 5 were deficient in acyl-CoA oxidase. Elevated plasma very long-chain fatty acids (VLCFA), impaired fibroblast VLCFA beta-oxidation, decreased fibroblast phytanic acid oxidation, normal plasmalogen synthesis, normal plasma L-pipecolic acid level, and normal subcellular catalase distribution were characteristic findings in both disorders. The elevation in plasma VLCFA levels and impairment in fibroblast VLCFA beta-oxidation were more severe in bifunctional-deficient than in oxidase-deficient patients. The clinical course in bifunctional deficiency (profound hypotonia, neonatal seizures, dysmorphic features, age at death approximately 9 months) was more severe than in oxidase deficiency (moderate hypotonia without dysmorphic features, development of a leukodystrophy, age at death approximately 4 yr). Based on these findings, accurate early diagnosis of these deficiencies of peroxisomal beta-oxidation enzymes is possible.

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