Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase
Author: Professor Jean-Louis Dhondt1
Creation Date: April 2001
Updates:      ...
cyclohydrolase       (GTPch)      deficiency,                        mean minus standard deviations for age) is
which could alter the dose-effect relationships of                   cases, biopterin excretion was at the lower limit
transient phenylketonuria. Arch. Dis. Child. 1980,                    by a severe progressive neurological illness
55, 637...
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Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase

  1. 1. Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase Author: Professor Jean-Louis Dhondt1 Creation Date: April 2001 Updates: May 2003 February 2005 Scientific Editor: Professor Jean-Marie Saudubray 1 Centre régional de dépistage néonatal, 68 Rue Sylvere Verhulst, 59000 Lille, France. Abstract Keywords Disease name and synonyms Excluded diseases Diagnostic criteria/definition Differential diagnosis Prevalence Clinical description Management including treatment Diagnostic methods Genetic counseling Antenatal diagnosis References Abstract 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase (PTPS) deficiency, an autosomal recessive genetic disorder, is one of the causes of malignant hyperphenylalaninemia due to tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency. Not only does tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency cause hyperphenylalaninemia, it is also responsible for defective neurotransmission of monoamines because of malfunctioning tyrosine and tryptophan hydroxylases, both tetrahydrobiopterin-dependent hydroxylases. PTPS deficiency should be suspected in all infants with a positive neonatal screening test for phenylketonuria, especially when hyperphenylalaninemia is moderate. The most effective way to diagnose the disorder is to measure pteridine levels in urine and to confirm the result by measuring neurotransmitters 5-hydroxyindolacetic acid (5-HIAA) and homovanillic acid (HVA) in cerebrospinal fluid and with by an oral tetrahydrobiopterin-loading test (20 mg/kg). When left untreated, the deficiency causes neurological signs at age 4 or 5 months, although clinical signs are often obvious from birth. The principal symptoms include psychomotor retardation, tonus disorders, convulsions, drowsiness, irritability, abnormal movements, hyperthermia, hypersalivation and difficulty swallowing. Treatment attempts to bring phenylalaninemia levels back to normal (diet with restricted phenylalanine intake or prescription of tetrahydrobiopterin) and to restore normal monoaminergic neurotransmission by administering precursors (L-dopa/carbidopa and 5-hydroxytryptophan). Keywords malignant hyperphenylalaninemia, tetrahydropterin deficiency, defective monoaminonergic neurotransmission, restricted phenylalamine intake. Malignant hyperphenylalaninemia. Disease name and synonyms 6-pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase (PTPS) Excluded diseases deficiency; Other hyperphenylalaninemias (phenylketonuria Biopterin-synthetase deficiency; (PKU), mild hyperphenylalaninemia, etc.); other Tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency; tetrahydrobiopterin deficiencies (GTP- Dhondt JL. Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase. Orphanet encyclopedia, February 2005. 1
  2. 2. cyclohydrolase (GTPch) deficiency, mean minus standard deviations for age) is dihydropteridin reductase (DHPR), pterin-4α- observed in half of the cases. carbinolamine dehydratase (PCD). The neuroradiological and electrophysiological abnormalities are often less severe than would Diagnostic criteria/definition be expected from the clinical picture. EEG PTPS deficiency is one of the etiologies of tracings and changes with age are not specific. "malignant hyperphenylalaninemia" resulting Considering data obtained before 1 year of age, from tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency. In addition to EEG was normal in 69% of PTPS-deficient being hyperphenylalaninemic, patients lacking patients, paroxysmal activity (hypsarrhythmia, tetrahydrobiopterin are deficient in the sharp waves, epileptic discharges) was neurotransmitters whose syntheses depend on observed in 17% of the patients. the normal activity of tetrahydrobiopterin- Neuroanatomical investigations (CT scan & dependent tyrosine and tryptophan hydroxylases MRI) showed frequent and rather early brain (EC. and EC. atrophy. Differential diagnosis Atypical forms Although the incidence of tetrahydrobiopterin The absence of clinical signs is one of the deficiencies remains low, it is important to be criteria applied to classify patients in this group. sure that patients with hyperphenylalaninemia However, clinical abnormalities have been noted are not tetrahydrobiopterin deficient so that a in some of them. confident prediction of good outcome with a low The report of normal cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) phenylalanine diet can be made. neurotransmitter and biopterin levels led to the It is recommended that all infants with introduction of the term,"peripheral" form of hyperphenylalaninemia be screened for defects PTPS deficiency. in tetrahydrobiopterin metabolism,even in the absence of neurological symptoms, and Management including treatment regardless of the degree of Typical forms hyperphenylalaninemia (mild, transient, The goal is to control hyperphenylalaninemia by persistent, ...). dietary restriction of phenylalanine or tetrahydrobiopterin administration, and to restore Prevalence neurotransmitter homeostasis by oral PTPS deficiency is the most frequent condition administration of amine precursors L-dopa and resulting from tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency: 196 5-hydroxy-tryptophane (5HT). Carbidopa, an cases are known (58% of which are inhibitor of peripheral aromatic amino-acid tetrahydrobiopterin-deficient patients) (in France decarboxylase, enables reduction of the : 17 cases). therapeutic dose of L-dopa. Consanguinity exists in 1/3 of the cases. The doses usually given are L-dopa/carbidopa : In countries where the incidence of PKU is low 5-10 mg/kg body weight (bw)/day 5HT : 5-10 (Japan, Taiwan, etc.), the relative frequency mg/kg bw/ day. However, doses can vary, and (mainly PTPS deficiency) may appear high. indeed have to be adapted to each individual. Neurotransmitter doses are usually divided into Clinical description three equal portions during the day. However, Typical forms diurnal fluctuations are often observed and The median age at which clinical signs became require changes in the schedule of drug evident was 4-5 months, but symptoms do not administration. The optimal dose should be necessarily correlate with age at diagnosis, even adjusted to the requirements of each patient with in a given family. However, during the neonatal monitoring for adverse effects and the possible period, abnormal signs (poor sucking, decreased disappearance of neurological symptoms when spontaneous movements, floppy baby) can be they exist. Unfortunately, there are no observed. biochemical parameters measurable in the The main symptoms were mental retardation, periphery (except hyperprolactinemia which is a convulsions, disturbances of tonicity and good indicator of the hypothalamic dopamine posture, drowsiness, irritability, abnormal deficiency) adequately monitor treatment; movements, recurrent hyperthermia without consequently, analyzing neurotransmitter infection, hypersalivation, swallowing difficulties. metabolites in CSF, obtained by lumbar Diurnal fluctuation of alertness and neurological puncture, represents the most direct way to symptoms are often reported. Convulsions evaluate its efficacy, at least from a biochemical (grand mal or myoclonic attacks) are frequently point of view. reported. Although tetrahydrobiopterin-deficient subjects Considering growth parameters, most PTPS- exhibit higher dietary phenylalanine tolerance deficient patients showed mild to severe failure than classical PKU patients, a factor limiting the to thrive. Microcephaly (head circumference < response to neurotransmitter precursor therapy might be the plasma phenylalanine fluctuations, Dhondt JL. Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase. Orphanet encyclopedia, February 2005. 2
  3. 3. which could alter the dose-effect relationships of cases, biopterin excretion was at the lower limit these substances, by interfering with their of the normal range. In such a situation, membrane transport or by competitive inhibition developmental changes, infectious disease or of tyrosine and tryptophan hydroxylases. The renal failure must be taken in account. use of tetrahydrobiopterin to control blood In contrast, CSF pterins usually contain higher phenylalanine levels appears to be effective and biopterin levels, which are, in some patients, at is recommended. Relatively low doses of the upper limit of the normal range. tetrahydrobiopterin (5-10 mg/kg/d) normalize Nevertheless, a high N/B ratio confirms the blood phenylalanine levels and offer an existence of impaired tetrahydrobiopterin alternative to a phenylalanine-restricted diet. metabolism. Neurotransmitter levels in CSF are usually Atypical forms reported to be normal. However, a decrease of These forms theoretically do not require a CSF 5-HIAA levels exceeding that expected treatment, and thus the decision to treat or not is because of increasing age, has been observed. not evident. With regard to the obvious These observations suggest that patients heterogeneity and the unclear prognosis, it exhibiting such a phenotype during the first seems appropriate to treat newborns with the so- months of life should be reevaluated after called "peripheral" form at least with infancy. tetrahydrobiopterin, to monitor their development carefully and to reevaluate the metabolic status Genetic counseling at 6 months of age. PTPS deficiency is a genetic disorder with autosomal recessive inheritance, the disease Diagnostic methods occurs in both sexes and consanguinity is The diagnosis has to be considered for all common. The gene (PTS) has been located on conditions with hyperphenylalaninemia. PTPS chromosome 11q22.3-q23.3 (6 exons), 33 deficiency can be surmised from measurements mutations have been described. of related metabolites in urine, blood and CSF. Antenatal diagnosis Typical forms The option of prenatal diagnosis is likely to be Urine pterin patterns are characteristic in PTPS taken seriously, since these conditions are deficiency. They not only show low or subject to much uncertainty about the prognosis. undedectable biopterin (B) levels but also It is possible to diagnose PTPS deficiency markedly elevated neopterin (N), a pterin derived prenatally by measuring of pterin levels in from the normal precursor of biopterin (7,8- amniotic fluid and PTPS in fetal erythrocytes. dihydroneopterin-triphosphate). As a result, the DNA analysis can also be used. N/B ratio is high, and the %B (B/B+N) is low. In CSF, the pterin pattern is similar. However, in References some patients 2-3 weeks, biopterin values were Blau N, Barnes I., Dhondt J.L. International within the normal range but the N/B ratio Database of Tetrahydrobiopterin Deficiencies. J elevated. Inher Metab Dis 1996, 19: 8-14. In CSF, 5-HIAA and HVA levels are low. Dhondt J.L. Strategy for the screening of However, during the neonatal period, results can tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency among be within the normal ranges. hyperphenylalaninemic patients: 15 years The tetrahydrobiopterin-loading test (2-20 experience. J. Inherit .Metab. Dis. 1991, 14, 117- mg/kg), by supplying the missing cofactor of 127 phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH), gives a Dhondt J.L. Tetrahydrobiopterin deficiencies. prompt fall in plasma phenylalanine levels, as Lessons from the compilation of 200 patients. observed in all the patients subjected to the test. Developmental Brain Dysfunction 1993, 6, 139- Because DHPR is intact, tetrahydrobiopterin 155 functions catalytically and small amounts of Dhondt J.L., Meyer M., Malpuech G. Problems cofactor hydrolyze large amounts of in the diagnosis of tetrahydrobiopterin deficiency. phenylalanine (even with a preload Eur. J. Pediatr. 1988, 147, 332-335 phenylalanine concentration as high as 40 International register of mg/dl). tetrahydrobiopterindeficiencies (J.L. Dhondt, Erythrocytes were found to have PTPS activity, N. Blau): (BIODEF (patients thus simplifying the investigation of patients. database) and BIOMDB (mutations database). Most typical patients had very low PTPS Niederwieser A., Curtius H., Bettoni O., Bieri J., activities. Schircks B., Viscontini M., Schaub J. Atypical phenylketonuria caused by 7,8-dihydrobiopterin Atypical forms synthetase deficiency. Lancet 1979, 1, 131-133 Determination of plasma and urine pterin levels Rey F., Leeming R.J., Blair J.A., Rey J. Biopterin alone will not distinguish these patients from defect in a normal-appearing child affected by a those with typical PTPS deficiency but, in some Dhondt JL. Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase. Orphanet encyclopedia, February 2005. 3
  4. 4. transient phenylketonuria. Arch. Dis. Child. 1980, by a severe progressive neurological illness 55, 637-639 unresponsive to dietary treatment. Arch. Dis. Scriver CR, Kaufman S, Eisensmith RC, Woo Child. 1974, 49, 245 SLC. The hyperphenylalaninemias. In: Scriver Spada M, Schuler A, Blau N, Ferraris S, Lanza CR, Beaudet AL, Sly WS, Valle D, eds. The C, Ponzone A. Deprenyl in 6-pyruvoyl- Metabolic and Molecular Bases of Inherited tetrahydropterin synthase deficiency. Pteridines Disease, 7 ed, vol. 1 New York: McGraw-Hill, 1995, 6, 144-146 1995, 1015-1075 Smith I. Atypical phenylketonuria accompanied Dhondt JL. Defect in pyruvoyl-tetrahydropterin synthase. Orphanet encyclopedia, February 2005. 4