Am J Hum Genet 2019 11 17;105(5):1016-1022. Epub 2019 Oct 17.
Department of Genetics, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, Riyadh 11211, Saudi Arabia; Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Medicine, Alfaisal University, Riyadh 11533, Saudi Arabia. Electronic address:
MEDNIK syndrome (mental retardation, enteropathy, deafness, peripheral neuropathy, ichthyosis, and keratoderma) is an autosomal-recessive disorder caused by bi-allelic mutations in AP1S1, encoding the small σ subunit of the AP-1 complex. Central to the pathogenesis of MEDNIK syndrome is abnormal AP-1-mediated trafficking of copper transporters; this abnormal trafficking results in a hybrid phenotype combining the copper-deficiency-related characteristics of Menkes disease and the copper-toxicity-related characteristics of Wilson disease. We describe three individuals from two unrelated families in whom a MEDNIK-like phenotype segregates with two homozygous null variants in AP1B1, encoding the large β subunit of the AP-1 complex. Similar to individuals with MEDNIK syndrome, the affected individuals we report display abnormal copper metabolism, evidenced by low plasma copper and ceruloplasmin, but lack evidence of copper toxicity in the liver. Functional characterization of fibroblasts derived from affected individuals closely resembles the abnormal ATP7A trafficking described in MEDNIK syndrome both at baseline and in response to copper treatment. Taken together, our results expand the list of inborn errors of copper metabolism.