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Biochim Biophys Acta. 1999 Sep 20;1455(1):54-60.

beta-Trace protein in human cerebrospinal fluid: a diagnostic marker for N-glycosylation defects in brain.

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Laboratory of Pediatrics and Neurology, University Hospital Nijmegen, The Netherlands.


As carbohydrate-deficient glycoprotein syndromes (CDGS) are multisystemic disorders with impaired central nervous function in nearly all cases, we tested isoforms of beta-trace protein (beta TP), a 'brain-type' glycosylated protein in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of nine patients with the characteristic CDGS type I pattern of serum transferrin. Whereas the serum transferrin pattern did not discriminate between the various subtypes of CDGS type I (CDGS type Ia, type Ic, and patients with unknown defect), beta TP isoforms of CDGS type Ia patients differed from that of the other CDGS type I patients. The percentage of abnormal beta TP isoforms correlated with the severity of the neurological symptoms. Furthermore, two patients are described, who illustrate that abnormal protein N-glycosylation can occur restricted to either the 'peripheral' serum or the central nervous system compartment. This is the first report presenting evidence for an N-glycosylation defect restricted to the brain. Testing beta TP isoforms is a useful tool to detect protein N-glycosylation disorders in the central nervous system.

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