Publications by authors named "Christoph Berning"

5 Publications

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Bacterial expression of mutant argininosuccinate lyase reveals imperfect correlation of in-vitro enzyme activity with clinical phenotype in argininosuccinic aciduria.

J Inherit Metab Dis 2012 Jan 11;35(1):133-40. Epub 2011 Jun 11.

Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Universitätsklinikum Münster, Albert-Schweitzer-Str. 33, 48149 Muenster, Germany.

Background: The urea cycle defect argininosuccinate lyase (ASL) deficiency has a large spectrum of presentations from highly severe to asymptomatic. Enzyme activity assays in red blood cells or fibroblasts, although diagnostic of the deficiency, fail to discriminate between severe, mild or asymptomatic cases. Mutation/phenotype correlation studies are needed to characterize the effects of individual mutations on the activity of the enzyme.

Methods: Bacterial in-vitro expression studies allowed the enzyme analysis of purified mutant ASL proteins p.I100T (c.299 T > C), p.V178M (c.532 G > A), p.E189G (c.566A > G), p.Q286R (c.857A > G), p.K315E (c.943A > G), p.R379C (c.1135 C > T) and p.R385C (c.1153 C > T) in comparison to the wildtype protein.

Results: In the bacterial in-vitro expression system, ASL wild-type protein was successfully expressed. The known classical p.Q286R, the novel classical p.K315E and the known mutations p.I100T, p.E189G and p.R385C, which all have been linked to a mild phenotype, showed no significant residual activity. There was some enzyme activity detected with the p.V178M (5 % of wild-type) and p.R379C (10 % of wild-type) mutations in which K(m) values for argininosuccinic acid differed significantly from the wild-type ASL protein.

Conclusion: The bacterially expressed enzymes proved that the mutations found in patients and studied here indeed are detrimental. However, as in the case of red cell ASL activity assays, some mutations found in genetically homozygous patients with mild presentations resulted in virtual loss of enzyme activity in the bacterial system, suggesting a more protective environment for the mutant enzyme in the liver than in the heterologous expression system and/or in the highly dilute assays utilized here.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10545-011-9357-xDOI Listing
January 2012

TC II deficiency: avoidance of false-negative molecular genetics by RNA-based investigations.

J Hum Genet 2009 Jun 17;54(6):331-4. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Münster, Germany.

Transcobalamin II (TC II) is a plasma transport protein for cobalamin. TC II deficiency can lead to infant megaloblastic anemia, failure to thrive and to neurological complications. This report describes the genetic work-up of three patients who presented in early infancy. Initially, genomic investigations did not reveal the definite genetic diagnosis in the two index patients. However, analysis of cDNA from skin fibroblasts revealed a homozygous deletion of exon 7 of the TC II gene caused by the mutation c.940+303_c.1106+746del2152insCTGG (r.941_1105del; p.fs326X) in one patient. The other patients were siblings and both affected by an insertion of 87 bp on the transcript which was caused by the homozygous mutation c.580+624A>T (r.580ins87; p.fs209X). Additional experiments showed that cDNA from lymphocytes could have been used also for the genetic work-up. This report shows that the use of cDNA from skin fibroblasts or peripheral lymphocytes facilitates genetic investigations of suspected TC II deficiency and helps to avoid false-negative DNA analysis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/jhg.2009.34DOI Listing
June 2009

Investigation of citrullinemia type I variants by in vitro expression studies.

Hum Mutat 2008 Oct;29(10):1222-7

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin, Münster, Germany.

Mild citrullinemia is an allelic variant of classical citrullinemia type I also caused by deficiency of the urea cycle enzyme argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS). Affected patients comprise a biochemical but no clinical phenotype. However, there is no reliable parameter allowing conclusions regarding the course of the disorder or its type of manifestation. The aim of this study was to test the importance of varying levels of ASS residual activities for the severity at diagnosis. Bacterial in vitro expression studies allowed the enzymatic analysis of purified wild-type and the mutant ASS proteins p.Ala118Thr (c.352G>A), p.Trp179Arg (c.535T>C), p.Val263Met (c.787G>A), p.Arg265Cys (c.793C>T), p.Met302Val (c.904A>G), p.Gly324Ser (c.970G>A), p.Gly362Val (c.1085G>T), and p.Gly390Arg (c.1168G>A). In the chosen system, classical mutations do not show any significant enzymatic activity, whereas mutations associated with a mild course yield significant ASS activity levels. The mutation p.Ala118Thr (c.352G>A) impresses by a high residual activity (62%) but a severe reduction of affinity toward the substrates citrulline and aspartate. This mutation was identified in a hitherto healthy female adult with no history of known citrullinemia who had died during the postpartum period from hyperammonemic coma. The results of this study suggest that even a high level of residual ASS activity is not a reliable prognostic marker for an uneventful clinical course. Determination of ASS residual activities, therefore, cannot help in anticipating the risk of metabolic derangement. This study should guide clinicians as well as patients with mild citrullinemia toward a lifelong awareness of the disorder.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/humu.20784DOI Listing
October 2008

Prenatal diagnosis of citrullinemia and argininosuccinic aciduria: evidence for a transmission ratio distortion in citrullinemia.

Prenat Diagn 2006 Mar;26(3):242-7

Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.

Background: In the course of 25 years, we have experienced a high rate of affected fetuses in the prenatal diagnosis of citrullinemia.

Methods And Results: Ninety-one pregnancies at 1 in 4 risk were tested; 36 were diagnosed as affected (39.5%; P = 0.0015). The high rate of positive diagnoses was found both after chorionic villus sampling (24/68 = 35.3%) and amniocentesis (12/23 = 52.2%) despite the completely different and independent techniques used. Using exactly the same (indirect) enzyme assay for argininosuccinic aciduria on chorionic villi and a similar method on amniotic fluid, the expected rate of affected fetuses was found: 13/53 = 24.5%. Technical and genetic causes for the unexpected results were excluded by confirmatory studies performed on independent fetal material, which was available for 27 of the 36 fetuses affected with citrullinemia. Biochemical confirmation was obtained in the 27 cases, whereas in 18 fetuses homozygosity or compound heterozygosity for disease-causing mutations were retrospectively demonstrated in the stored fetal cells.

Conclusion: The results suggest the occurrence of preferential transmission of the mutant allele. An explanation for this phenomenon may be found in a protective role of argininosuccinic acid synthetase deficiency in mutant sperm cells against the possibly detrimental or apoptotic effect of nitric oxide produced normally from arginine by nitric oxide synthase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/pd.1390DOI Listing
March 2006

Mild citrullinemia in Caucasians is an allelic variant of argininosuccinate synthetase deficiency (citrullinemia type 1).

Mol Genet Metab 2003 Nov;80(3):302-6

Universitätsklinikum Münster, Klinik und Poliklinik für Kinderheilkunde, Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 33, D-48149 Münster, Germany.

Citrullinemia is caused by either deficiency of argininosuccinate synthetase (ASS, citrullinemia type 1) or a defect of the SLC25A13 gene encoding a mitochondrial aspartate-glutamate transporter (citrullinemia type II). Citrullinemia type 1-referred to as classical citrullinemia-is characterized by largely elevated concentrations of citrulline, manifesting with acute hyperammonemic crises predominantly early in life and occurs panethnically. Citrullinemia type II is a rare multisystem-disorder nearly exclusively observed in the Japanese population and characterized by less pronounced elevations of plasma citrulline and mainly a late onset of clinical symptoms. Here, we investigated 21 citrullinemic patients (mean peak plasma citrulline 1023 micromol/l, range 152-3360), all of whom remained asymptomatic during the observation period (6-156 months). These patients were referred to as mild citrullinemia due to less striking peak citrulline concentrations or absent clinical symptoms. Extended newborn screening using tandem mass spectrometry detected 15/21 patients, 4/21 patients were identified by investigation of siblings, 2/21 during metabolic work-up of unspecific neurological symptoms. We characterized the genetic defects in all affected families and found all patients affected by citrullinemia type 1 due to mutations of the ASS gene. We identified 15 different mutations, 14/15 missense and 1/15 nonsense, 6/15 were novel mutations. This is the first genetic study in a series of patients with hitherto asymptomatic citrullinemia. According to the mutations found in this study, mild citrullinemia seems to be primarily related to the human ASS gene, at least in patients of caucasian origin.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ymgme.2003.08.002DOI Listing
November 2003