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

Extracorporeal enzyme reactors for depletion of phenylalanine in phenylketonuria.

Multitubular enzyme reactors with immobilized enzymes were developed to achieve depletion of circulating substrate by extracorporeal means. To act as prototypes, reactors were prepared with immobilized L-phenylalanine ammonia-lyase, an enzyme that metabolizes phenylalanine to trans-cinnamic acid and ammonia without the need for a coenzyme. We report the first application of phenylalanine ammonia-lyase reactors in an extracorporeal circulation system in a patient with phenylketonuria. A phenylalanine level of 1.82 mmol/L (for the last 6 years) decreased to 1.24 mmol/L after 5.5. hours of treatment, without the enzyme entering the circulation. Total phenylalanine depletion from blood and tissue stores was estimated at 1800 mg. The hemodialysis-like procedure proved to be without side effects, specific for phenylalanine, and suitable in the management of pregnant women with phenylketonuria and late-onset hyperphenylalaninemia. The extracorporeal use of enzyme reactors for temporary enzyme replacement represents a new, safe, and effective therapeutic modality.[1]


  1. Extracorporeal enzyme reactors for depletion of phenylalanine in phenylketonuria. Ambrus, C.M., Anthone, S., Horvath, C., Kalghatgi, K., Lele, A.S., Eapen, G., Ambrus, J.L., Ryan, A.J., Li, P. Ann. Intern. Med. (1987) [Pubmed]
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