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Fatal hyperammonemia and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) deficiency following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation


Laemmle, Alexander; Hahn, Dagmar; Hu, Liyan; Rüfenacht, Véronique; Gautschi, Matthias; Leibundgut, Kurt; Nuoffer, Jean-Marc; Häberle, Johannes (2015). Fatal hyperammonemia and carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) deficiency following high-dose chemotherapy and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. Molecular Genetics and Metabolism, 114(3):438-444.

Abstract

Fatal hyperammonemia secondary to chemotherapy for hematological malignancies or following bone marrow transplantation has been described in few patients so far. In these, the pathogenesis of hyperammonemia remained unclear and was suggested to be multifactorial. We observed severe hyperammonemia (maximum 475 μmol/L) in a 2-year-old male patient, who underwent high-dose chemotherapy with carboplatin, etoposide and melphalan, and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for a neuroblastoma stage IV. Despite intensive care treatment, hyperammonemia persisted and the patient died due to cerebral edema. The biochemical profile with elevations of ammonia and glutamine (maximum 1757 μmol/L) suggested urea cycle dysfunction. In liver homogenates, enzymatic activity and protein expression of the urea cycle enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) were virtually absent. However, no mutation was found in CPS1 cDNA from liver and CPS1 mRNA expression was only slightly decreased. We therefore hypothesized that the acute onset of hyperammonemia was due to an acquired, chemotherapy-induced (posttranscriptional) CPS1 deficiency. This was further supported by in vitro experiments in HepG2 cells treated with carboplatin and etoposide showing a dose-dependent decrease in CPS1 protein expression. Due to severe hyperlactatemia, we analysed oxidative phosphorylation complexes in liver tissue and found reduced activities of complexes I and V, which suggested a more general mitochondrial dysfunction. This study adds to the understanding of chemotherapy-induced hyperammonemia as drug-induced CPS1 deficiency is suggested. Moreover, we highlight the need for urgent diagnostic and therapeutic strategies addressing a possible secondary urea cycle failure in future patients with hyperammonemia during chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.

Abstract

Fatal hyperammonemia secondary to chemotherapy for hematological malignancies or following bone marrow transplantation has been described in few patients so far. In these, the pathogenesis of hyperammonemia remained unclear and was suggested to be multifactorial. We observed severe hyperammonemia (maximum 475 μmol/L) in a 2-year-old male patient, who underwent high-dose chemotherapy with carboplatin, etoposide and melphalan, and autologous hematopoietic stem cell transplantation for a neuroblastoma stage IV. Despite intensive care treatment, hyperammonemia persisted and the patient died due to cerebral edema. The biochemical profile with elevations of ammonia and glutamine (maximum 1757 μmol/L) suggested urea cycle dysfunction. In liver homogenates, enzymatic activity and protein expression of the urea cycle enzyme carbamoyl phosphate synthetase 1 (CPS1) were virtually absent. However, no mutation was found in CPS1 cDNA from liver and CPS1 mRNA expression was only slightly decreased. We therefore hypothesized that the acute onset of hyperammonemia was due to an acquired, chemotherapy-induced (posttranscriptional) CPS1 deficiency. This was further supported by in vitro experiments in HepG2 cells treated with carboplatin and etoposide showing a dose-dependent decrease in CPS1 protein expression. Due to severe hyperlactatemia, we analysed oxidative phosphorylation complexes in liver tissue and found reduced activities of complexes I and V, which suggested a more general mitochondrial dysfunction. This study adds to the understanding of chemotherapy-induced hyperammonemia as drug-induced CPS1 deficiency is suggested. Moreover, we highlight the need for urgent diagnostic and therapeutic strategies addressing a possible secondary urea cycle failure in future patients with hyperammonemia during chemotherapy and stem cell transplantation.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Children's Hospital Zurich > Medical Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:March 2015
Deposited On:01 Feb 2016 12:11
Last Modified:08 Dec 2017 17:27
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:1096-7192
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2015.01.002
PubMed ID:25639153

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