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Pediatr Res. 2001 Jan;49(1):18-23.

Role of common gene variations in the molecular pathogenesis of short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.

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  • 1Research Unit for Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital and Faculty of Health Sciences, Skejby Sygehus, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.


ABSTRACT Short-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCAD) deficiency is considered a rare inherited mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation disorder. Less than 10 patients have been reported, diagnosed on the basis of ethylmalonic aciduria and low SCAD activity in cultured fibroblast. However, mild ethylmalonic aciduria, a biochemical marker of functional SCAD deficiency in vivo, is a common finding in patients suspected of having metabolic disorders. Based on previous observations, we have proposed that ethylmalonic aciduria in a small proportion of cases is caused by pathogenic SCAD gene mutations, and SCAD deficiency can be demonstrated in fibroblasts. Another - much more frequent - group of patients with mild ethylmalonic aciduria has functional SCAD deficiency due to the presence of susceptibility SCAD gene variations, i.e. 625G>A and 511C>T, in whom a variable or moderately reduced SCAD activity in fibroblasts may still be clinically relevant. To substantiate this notion we performed sequence analysis of the SCAD gene in 10 patients with ethylmalonic aciduria and diagnosed with SCAD deficiency in fibroblasts. Surprisingly, only one of the 10 patients carried pathogenic mutations in both alleles, while five were double heterozygotes for a pathogenic mutation in one allele and the 625G>A susceptibility variation in the other. The remaining four patients carried only either the 511C>T or the 625G>A variations in each allele. Our findings document that patients carrying these SCAD gene variations may develop clinically relevant SCAD deficiency, and that patients with even mild ethylmalonic aciduria should be tested for these variations.

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