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From genotype to phenotype: Early prediction of disease severity in argininosuccinic aciduria


Abstract

Argininosuccinic aciduria (ASA) is an inherited urea cycle disorder and has a highly variable phenotypic spectrum ranging from individuals with lethal hyperammonemic encephalopathy, liver dysfunction, and cognitive deterioration, to individuals with a mild disease course. As it is difficult to predict the phenotypic severity, we aimed at identifying a reliable disease prediction model. We applied a biallelic expression system to assess the functional impact of pathogenic argininosuccinate lyase (ASL) variants and to determine the enzymatic activity of ASL in 58 individuals with ASA. This cohort represented 42 ASL gene variants and 42 combinations in total. Enzymatic ASL activity was compared with biochemical and clinical endpoints from the UCDC and E-IMD databases. Enzymatic ASL activity correlated with peak plasma ammonium concentration at initial presentation and with the number of hyperammonemic events (HAEs) per year of observation. Individuals with ≤9% of enzymatic activity had more severe initial decompensations and a higher annual frequency of HAEs than individuals above this threshold. Enzymatic ASL activity also correlated with the cognitive outcome and the severity of the liver disease, enabling a reliable severity prediction for individuals with ASA. Thus, enzymatic activity measured by this novel expression system can serve as an important marker of phenotypic severity.

Abstract

Argininosuccinic aciduria (ASA) is an inherited urea cycle disorder and has a highly variable phenotypic spectrum ranging from individuals with lethal hyperammonemic encephalopathy, liver dysfunction, and cognitive deterioration, to individuals with a mild disease course. As it is difficult to predict the phenotypic severity, we aimed at identifying a reliable disease prediction model. We applied a biallelic expression system to assess the functional impact of pathogenic argininosuccinate lyase (ASL) variants and to determine the enzymatic activity of ASL in 58 individuals with ASA. This cohort represented 42 ASL gene variants and 42 combinations in total. Enzymatic ASL activity was compared with biochemical and clinical endpoints from the UCDC and E-IMD databases. Enzymatic ASL activity correlated with peak plasma ammonium concentration at initial presentation and with the number of hyperammonemic events (HAEs) per year of observation. Individuals with ≤9% of enzymatic activity had more severe initial decompensations and a higher annual frequency of HAEs than individuals above this threshold. Enzymatic ASL activity also correlated with the cognitive outcome and the severity of the liver disease, enabling a reliable severity prediction for individuals with ASA. Thus, enzymatic activity measured by this novel expression system can serve as an important marker of phenotypic severity.

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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
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Genetics
Health Sciences > Genetics (clinical)
Language:English
Date:May 2020
Deposited On:13 Jan 2021 16:39
Last Modified:14 Jan 2021 21:01
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1059-7794
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/humu.23983
PubMed ID:31943503

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