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Prenat Diagn. 1999 Apr;19(4):386-8.

Molybdenum cofactor deficiency: first prenatal genetic analysis.

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  • 1Institut für Humangenetik der Universität, Göttingen, Germany.


Molybdenum cofactor (MoCo) deficiency leads to a combined deficiency of the molybdo-enzymes sulphite oxidase, xanthine dehydrogenase and aldehyde oxidase. No therapy is known for this rare disease, which results in neonatal seizures and other neurological symptoms identical to sulphite oxidase deficiency. It is inherited autosomal-recessively and leads to early childhood death. Prenatal diagnosis has been performed since 1983 by the measurement of sulphite oxidase activity, but no enzymatic carrier diagnosis is possible. The human genes necessary for MoCo biosynthesis have recently been cloned and mutations in the bicistronic MOCS1 gene could be identified in most European patients. In a Danish family we have now performed enzymatic and molecular genetic analysis in parallel after chorionic villus sampling. The sulphite oxidase activity in uncultured CVS material was found to be normal. A MOCS1 splice site mutation, found homozygous in the affected patient, was found in a heterozygous state in cultured chorionic cells. This confirmed that the fetus was not affected, since heterozygous carriers of a MoCo deficiency allele do not display any symptoms.

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