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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

L-Arabinosuria: a new defect in human pentose metabolism.

A female patient, the first child of healthy non-consanguineous parents, presented at the age of 16 months with delayed motor development and facial dysmorphism. In addition she displayed a palatoschizis and multiple skeletal abnormalities as hypoplastic scapulae, hypoplastic os ilea, and an extreme cervical kyphosis. Biochemical investigation of urine revealed no abnormalities except for the presence of large amounts of reducing sugars. The sugar was identified as L-arabinose, which mainly originated from fruit formula in her diet. In addition highly elevated levels of L-arabitol were found in urine, plasma, and cerebrospinal fluid. Although little is known about human arabinose metabolism, we presume that L-arabitol dehydrogenase is deficient in our patient. As polyols are potentially toxic to the central nervous system there could be deleterious long-term effects of this disorder. Withdrawal of dietary fruit led to normalization of polyol levels. The above-mentioned clinical abnormalities are probably not related to this new inborn error of metabolism and should be considered as a separate entity.[1]


  1. L-Arabinosuria: a new defect in human pentose metabolism. Onkenhout, W., Groener, J.E., Verhoeven, N.M., Yin, C., Laan, L.A. Mol. Genet. Metab. (2002) [Pubmed]
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