Carnitine uptake defect due to a 5′UTR mutation in a pedigree with false positives and false negatives on Newborn screening

Abstract

Carnitine Uptake Defect (CUD) is an autosomal recessive disorder due to mutations in the SLC22A5 gene. Classically patients present in infancy with profound muscle weakness and cardiomyopathy with characteristic EKG findings. Later presentations include recurrent hypoketotic hypoglycemia, proximal limb girdle myopathy, and/or recurrent muscle pain. Newborn screening detects most of these clinical variants but in addition has identified maternal CUD often in asymptomatic women. We describe a family ascertained through 3 newborn screening (NBS) positive infants found to be unaffected themselves but in whom the mothers (sisters) were affected. There were also two affected children born to an affected male and his heterozygous wife who were false negatives on NBS but had increased fractional excretion of free carnitine in the urine. Analysis on a Next Generation Sequencing panel specifically designed to fully cover newborn screening disease targets showed a homozygous change in the five probands (SLC22A5; NM_003060:c.-149G > A; p.?). The mutation segregates with the CUD within the family. It is in the 5′ UTR and has a frequency within the gnomAd database of 0.001198. Plasma carnitine was decreased and fractional excretion of free carnitine was increased in all affected individuals. Functional carnitine uptake studies in cultured skin fibroblasts of one proband showed carnitine uptake at the 5 μM concentration to be 6% of controls. Relative expression of OCTN2 mRNA to beta-actin mRNA by qRT-PCR was increased in a proband relative to controls by a factor of 465-fold. Western blotting revealed a 120 kDa protein band, as well as a weaker 240 kDa band in the proband, the significance of which is unknown at this time.

Lead Researchers

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Researchers

  1. Michael Geraghty

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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  2. Pranesh Chakraborty

    Investigator, CHEO Research Institute

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