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

Reinvestigation of trihydroxycholestanoic acidemia reveals a peroxisome biogenesis disorder.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the enzymatic defect in a patient with ataxia, dysarthric speech, dry skin, hypotonia, and absent reflexes. The patient was previously diagnosed with a presumed deficiency of trihydroxycholestanoyl-CoA oxidase. BACKGROUND: Peroxisomes harbor a variety of metabolic functions, including fatty acid beta-oxidation, etherphospholipid biosynthesis, phytanic acid alpha-oxidation, and L-pipecolic acid oxidation. This patient was previously described with an isolated peroxisomal beta-oxidation defect caused by a deficiency of the enzyme trihydroxycholestanoyl-CoA oxidase. This was based on the pattern of accumulating metabolites. METHODS: Measurement of beta-oxidation enzymes, peroxisomal biochemical analysis in body fluids and cultured skin fibroblasts, and DNA analysis of the PEX12 gene were performed. RESULTS: An isolated beta-oxidation defect in this patient was excluded by measurement of the various beta-oxidation enzymes. The authors found that the patient had a peroxisome biogenesis disorder caused by mutations in the PEX12 gene, although all peroxisomal functions in cultured skin fibroblasts were normal. CONCLUSIONS: The absence of clear peroxisomal abnormalities in the patient's fibroblasts, including a normal peroxisomal localization of catalase, implies that even when all peroxisomal functions in fibroblasts are normal, a peroxisome biogenesis disorder cannot be fully excluded, and further studies may be needed. In addition, the authors' findings imply that there is no longer evidence for the existence of trihydroxycholestanoyl-CoA oxidase deficiency as a distinct disease entity.[1]


  1. Reinvestigation of trihydroxycholestanoic acidemia reveals a peroxisome biogenesis disorder. Gootjes, J., Skovby, F., Christensen, E., Wanders, R.J., Ferdinandusse, S. Neurology (2004) [Pubmed]
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