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Mol Genet Metab. 2003 Mar;78(3):186-92.

Impaired mitochondrial pyruvate importation in a patient and a fetus at risk.

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Laboratory of Biochemistry, IFR and AP-HP Hopital de Bicêtre, 78, rue du général Leclerc, Le Kremlin-Bicêtre Cedex 94275, France.


The patient was the first child of healthy consanguineous parents. She presented at birth with hypotonia, mild facial dysmorphism, periventricular cysts, marked metabolic acidosis, hyperlactacidemia with normal lactate/pyruvate molar ratios, normoglycemia, and normal ammonia. Hyperlactacidemia was severe (5-14 mmol/l) and not corrected with bicarbonate, thiamine (10 mg/d), 2-chloropropionate (100 mg/kg/d) and a ketogenic diet. Pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDHC) activity was normal in lymphocytes and fibroblasts. Functional assays were performed in digitonin-permeabilized fibroblasts to measure oxidation rates from radiolabeled pyruvate and malate. The production of [14C]acetylcarnitine or [14C]citric cycle intermediates derived from [2-14C]pyruvate as well as the release of 14CO(2) from [1-14C]pyruvate was severely impaired, whereas decarboxylation of [U-14C]malate was normal. With increasing concentrations of [1-14C]pyruvate, the patient's fibroblasts behave like control fibroblasts incubated in the presence of alpha-cyano-4-hydroxycinnamate, a specific inhibitor of mitochondrial pyruvate uptake: a progressive increase in 14CO(2) production was observed, likely due to passive diffusion of [1-14C]pyruvate through the mitochondrial membranes. Our results are consistent with a defect of mitochondrial pyruvate transport in the patient. Mutational analysis was precluded as the cDNA sequence of the pyruvate carrier has not been identified as yet in any organism. An affected fetus was recognized in a subsequent dichorionic twin pregnancy using the coupled assay measuring [2-14C]pyruvate oxidation rates on digitonin-permeabilized trophoblasts. After selective feticide, the pregnancy was uncomplicated with delivery at 37w of a healthy female, who is currently 2-month old.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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