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Neurogenetics. 2014 May;15(2):101-6. doi: 10.1007/s10048-014-0390-4. Epub 2014 Jan 31.

A novel homozygous splicing mutation in PSAP gene causes metachromatic leukodystrophy in two Moroccan brothers.

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S.C. Pediatria e Neonatologia, Ospedale San Paolo, Savona, Italy.


Prosaposin (PSAP) gene mutations, affecting saposin B (Sap-B) domain, cause a rare metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD) variant in which arylsulfatase A (ARSA) activity is normal. To date, only 10 different PSAP mutations have been associated with a total of 18 unrelated MLD patients worldwide. In this study, we report for the first time a family with Moroccan origins in which the proband, presenting with a late-infantile onset of neurological involvement and a brain MRI with the typical tigroid MLD pattern, showed normal values of ARSA activity in the presence of an abnormal pattern of urinary sulfatides. In view of these findings, PSAP gene was analyzed, identifying the newly genomic homozygous c.909 + 1G > A mutation occurring within the invariant GT dinucleotide of the intron 8 donor splice site. Reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), showing the direct junction of exon 7 to exon 9, confirmed the skipping of the entire exon 8 (p.Gln260_Lys303) which normally contains two cysteine residues (Cys271 and Cys265) involved in disulfide bridges. Our report provides further evidence that phenotypes of patients with Sap-B deficiency vary widely depending on age of onset, type, and severity of symptoms. Awareness of this rare MLD variant is crucial to prevent delayed diagnosis or misdiagnosis and to promptly provide an accurate genetic counseling, including prenatal diagnosis, to families.

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