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Eur J Pediatr. 1991 Sep;150(11):761-6.

Triosephosphate isomerase deficiency: haemolytic anaemia, myopathy with altered mitochondria and mental retardation due to a new variant with accelerated enzyme catabolism and diminished specific activity.

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Children's Hospital, University of Göttingen, Federal Republic of Germany.


A new triosephosphate isomerase (TPI) variant is described in an 8-year-old Turkish girl suffering from chronic haemolytic anaemia, myopathy and developmental retardation since early infancy. The enzyme activity profile revealed a generalized deficiency in erythrocytes, granulocytes, mononuclear blood cells, skeletal muscle tissue and cerebrospinal fluid. The concentration of enzyme substrate dihydroxyacetone phosphate was distinctly elevated. Biochemical examination showed accelerated enzyme deamidation, the first step in the normal catabolism of TPI during aging of the erythrocyte. The specific activity of the variant TPI, determined by antibody titration, was reduced to 61% of normal. Its heat stability was markedly decreased. Muscle biopsy and neuropsychological testing further clarified the pathogenesis of the disorder. A prevalent alteration of mitochondria similar to that seen in mitochondrial myopathy and an elevated amount of intracellular glycogen were found. The patient's retarded intellectual development was mainly due to impaired visual perception and sensory-motor co-ordination in addition to a lack of syllogistic reasoning. The findings indicate that the low TPI activity leads to a metabolic block of the glycolytic pathway and hence to a generalized impairment of cellular energy supply.

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