Mitochondrial β-oxidation of long-chain fatty acids requires the concerted action of three tightly integrated membrane-bound enzymes (carnitine palmitoyltransferase I and II and carnitine/acylcarnitine translocase) that transport them into mitochondria. Neonatal onset of carnitine palmitoyltransferase II (CPT II) deficiency is an autosomal recessive, often lethal disorder of this transport. We describe a novel splice-site mutation in the CPT II gene, found in a Moroccan family, of which four out of five children have died from the neonatal form of CPT II deficiency. Mutation detection studies at the mRNA level in the CPT II gene implied that the affected children were homozygous for the previously reported 534T insertion followed by a 25-bp deletion (encompassing bases 534-558). Studies of genomic DNA, however, revealed all patients to be compound heterozygous for this 534T ins/del 25 mutation, and for a new g→a splice-site mutation in the splice-acceptor site of intron 2. Because of these findings, prenatal diagnosis was performed in chorionic villi of three new pregnancies. This did not reveal new compound heterozygous genotypes, and, after uneventful pregnancies, all children appeared to be healthy. The new mutation is the first splice-site mutation ever identified in CPT II deficiency. The fact that it was not discovered in the patient's cDNA makes this study another example of the incompleteness of mutation detection at the mRNA level in cases where a mutation leads to aberrant splicing or nonsense-mediated messenger decay.

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Journal of Human Genetics
Department of Biochemistry

Smeets, R, Smeitink, J.A.M, Semmekrot, B.A, Scholte, H.R, Wanders, R.J.A, & van den Heuvel, L.P. (2003). A novel splice site mutation in neonatal carnitine palmitoyl transferase II deficiency. Journal of Human Genetics, 48(1), 8–13. doi:10.1007/s100380300001