Exome sequencing results in successful riboflavin treatment of a rapidly progressive neurological condition.
ABSTRACT: Genetically targeted therapies for rare Mendelian conditions are improving patient outcomes. Here, we present the case of a 20-mo-old female suffering from a rapidly progressing neurological disorder. Although diagnosed initially with a possible autoimmune condition, analysis of the child's exome resulted in a diagnosis of Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome 2 (BVVLS2). This new diagnosis led to a change in the therapy plan from steroids and precautionary chemotherapy to high-dose riboflavin. Improvements were reported quickly, including in motor strength after 1 mo. In this case, the correct diagnosis and appropriate treatment would have been unlikely in the absence of exome sequencing and careful interpretation. This experience adds to a growing list of examples that emphasize the importance of early genome-wide diagnostics.
Project description:One of the most promising outcomes of whole-exome sequencing (WES) is the alteration of medical management following an accurate diagnosis in patients with previously unresolved disorders. Although case reports of targeted therapies resulting from WES have been published, there are few reports with long-term follow-up that confirm a sustained therapeutic response. Following a diagnosis by WES of Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere Syndrome 2 (BVVLS2), high-dose riboflavin therapy was instituted in a 20-mo-old child. An immediate clinical response with stabilization of signs and symptoms was noted over the first 2-4 wk. Subsequent clinical follow-up over the following 8 mo demonstrates not just stabilization, but continuing and sustained improvements in all manifestations of this usually fatal condition, which generally includes worsening motor weakness, sensory ataxia, hearing, and vision impairments. This case emphasizes that early application of WES can transform patient care, enabling therapy that in addition to being lifesaving can sometimes reverse the disabling disease processes in a progressive condition.
Project description:Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome was first described in 1894 as a rare neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive sensorineural deafness in combination with childhood amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Mutations in the gene, SLC52A3 (formerly C20orf54), one of three known riboflavin transporter genes, have recently been shown to underlie a number of severe cases of Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome; however, cases and families with this disease exist that do not appear to be caused by SLC52A3 mutations. We used a combination of linkage and exome sequencing to identify the disease causing mutation in an extended Lebanese Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere kindred, whose affected members were negative for SLC52A3 mutations. We identified a novel mutation in a second member of the riboflavin transporter gene family (gene symbol: SLC52A2) as the cause of disease in this family. The same mutation was identified in one additional subject, from 44 screened. Within this group of 44 patients, we also identified two additional cases with SLC52A3 mutations, but none with mutations in the remaining member of this gene family, SLC52A1. We believe this strongly supports the notion that defective riboflavin transport plays an important role in Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. Initial work has indicated that patients with SLC52A3 defects respond to riboflavin treatment clinically and biochemically. Clearly, this makes an excellent candidate therapy for the SLC52A2 mutation-positive patients identified here. Initial riboflavin treatment of one of these patients shows promising results.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Riboflavin transporter deficiency (Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome) is a rare recessive neurodegenerative disorder that can present with gait ataxia, primarily due to sensory neuropathy as well as cerebellar involvement. Although sensorineural hearing loss, bulbar palsy, and optic atrophy are typical, presentation may be variable and an atypical condition may be difficult to recognize clinically.<h4>Case presentation</h4>Here we report a patient presenting at age 8 with progressive ataxia since the age of 2.5 years with cerebellar atrophy and peripheral polyneuropathy. Whole exome sequencing identified a known pathogenic mutation in the <i>SLC52A2</i> gene consistent with a diagnosis of Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome despite the absence of common symptoms including motor neuropathy, bulbar palsy, optic atrophy, and sensorineural hearing loss. High-dose riboflavin therapy was initiated, symptoms stabilized, metabolic abnormalities resolved, and the patient is doing well with a near-normal examination at age 15.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Riboflavin transporter deficiency can be fatal if left untreated. The excellent outcome of this case illustrates the importance of identifying this potentially treatable neurologic condition. In this patient, clinical diagnosis was limited by an atypical presentation lacking several common features which was overcome through the use of genomic sequencing identifying the pathogenic mutation enabling correct diagnosis and subsequent treatment. Riboflavin transporter deficiency should be considered early in the diagnostic evaluation as a treatable form of ataxia in children, even if patients lack typical features.
Project description:Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome represents a phenotypic spectrum of motor, sensory, and cranial nerve neuropathy, often with ataxia, optic atrophy and respiratory problems leading to ventilator-dependence. Loss-of-function mutations in two riboflavin transporter genes, SLC52A2 and SLC52A3, have recently been linked to Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. However, the genetic frequency, neuropathology and downstream consequences of riboflavin transporter mutations are unclear. By screening a large cohort of 132 patients with early-onset severe sensory, motor and cranial nerve neuropathy we confirmed the strong genetic link between riboflavin transporter mutations and Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, identifying 22 pathogenic mutations in SLC52A2 and SLC52A3, 14 of which were novel. Brain and spinal cord neuropathological examination of two cases with SLC52A3 mutations showed classical symmetrical brainstem lesions resembling pathology seen in mitochondrial disease, including severe neuronal loss in the lower cranial nerve nuclei, anterior horns and corresponding nerves, atrophy of the spinothalamic and spinocerebellar tracts and posterior column-medial lemniscus pathways. Mitochondrial dysfunction has previously been implicated in an array of neurodegenerative disorders. Since riboflavin metabolites are critical components of the mitochondrial electron transport chain, we hypothesized that reduced riboflavin transport would result in impaired mitochondrial activity, and confirmed this using in vitro and in vivo models. Electron transport chain complex I and complex II activity were decreased in SLC52A2 patient fibroblasts, while global knockdown of the single Drosophila melanogaster riboflavin transporter homologue revealed reduced levels of riboflavin, downstream metabolites, and electron transport chain complex I activity. This in turn led to abnormal mitochondrial membrane potential, respiratory chain activity and morphology. Riboflavin transporter knockdown in Drosophila also resulted in severely impaired locomotor activity and reduced lifespan, mirroring patient pathology, and these phenotypes could be partially rescued using a novel esterified derivative of riboflavin. Our findings expand the genetic, clinical and neuropathological features of Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, implicate mitochondrial dysfunction as a downstream consequence of riboflavin transporter gene defects, and validate riboflavin esters as a potential therapeutic strategy.
Project description:Childhood onset motor neuron diseases or neuronopathies are a clinically heterogeneous group of disorders. A particularly severe subgroup first described in 1894, and subsequently called Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, is characterized by progressive pontobulbar palsy, sensorineural hearing loss and respiratory insufficiency. There has been no treatment for this progressive neurodegenerative disorder, which leads to respiratory failure and usually death during childhood. We recently reported the identification of SLC52A2, encoding riboflavin transporter RFVT2, as a new causative gene for Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome. We used both exome and Sanger sequencing to identify SLC52A2 mutations in patients presenting with cranial neuropathies and sensorimotor neuropathy with or without respiratory insufficiency. We undertook clinical, neurophysiological and biochemical characterization of patients with mutations in SLC52A2, functionally analysed the most prevalent mutations and initiated a regimen of high-dose oral riboflavin. We identified 18 patients from 13 families with compound heterozygous or homozygous mutations in SLC52A2. Affected individuals share a core phenotype of rapidly progressive axonal sensorimotor neuropathy (manifesting with sensory ataxia, severe weakness of the upper limbs and axial muscles with distinctly preserved strength of the lower limbs), hearing loss, optic atrophy and respiratory insufficiency. We demonstrate that SLC52A2 mutations cause reduced riboflavin uptake and reduced riboflavin transporter protein expression, and we report the response to high-dose oral riboflavin therapy in patients with SLC52A2 mutations, including significant and sustained clinical and biochemical improvements in two patients and preliminary clinical response data in 13 patients with associated biochemical improvements in 10 patients. The clinical and biochemical responses of this SLC52A2-specific cohort suggest that riboflavin supplementation can ameliorate the progression of this neurodegenerative condition, particularly when initiated soon after the onset of symptoms.
Project description:Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome (BVVLS [MIM 211530]) is a rare neurological disorder characterized by infancy onset sensorineural deafness and ponto-bulbar palsy. Mutations in SLC52A3 (formerly C20orf54), coding for riboflavin transporter 2 (hRFT2), have been identified as the molecular genetic correlate in several individuals with BVVLS. Exome sequencing of just one single case revealed that compound heterozygosity for two pathogenic mutations in the SLC52A2 gene coding for riboflavin transporter 3 (hRFT3), another member of the riboflavin transporter family, is also associated with BVVLS. Overexpression studies confirmed that the gene products of both mutant alleles have reduced riboflavin transport activities. While mutations in SLC52A3 cause decreased plasma riboflavin levels, concordant with a role of SLC52A3 in riboflavin uptake from food, the SLC52A2-mutant individual had normal plasma riboflavin concentrations, a finding in line with a postulated function of SLC52A2 in riboflavin uptake from blood into target cells. Our results contribute to the understanding of human riboflavin metabolism and underscore its role in the pathogenesis of BVVLS, thereby providing a rational basis for a high-dose riboflavin treatment.
Project description:We report on three patients (two siblings and one unrelated) presenting in infancy with progressive muscle weakness and paralysis of the diaphragm. Metabolic studies revealed a profile of plasma acylcarnitines and urine organic acids suggestive of a mild form of the multiple acyl-CoA dehydrogenation defect (MADD, ethylmalonic/adipic acid syndrome). Subsequently, a profound flavin deficiency in spite of a normal dietary riboflavin intake was established in the plasma of all three children, suggesting a riboflavin transporter defect. Genetic analysis of these patients demonstrated mutations in the C20orf54 gene which encodes the human homolog of a rat riboflavin transporter. This gene was recently implicated in the Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome, a rare neurological disorder which may either present in infancy with neurological deterioration with hypotonia, respiratory insufficiency and early death, or later in life with deafness and progressive ponto-bulbar palsy. Supplementation of riboflavin rapidly improved the clinical symptoms as well as the biochemical abnormalities in our patients, demonstrating that high dose riboflavin is a potential treatment for the Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere syndrome as well as for the Fazio Londe syndrome which is considered to be the same disease entity without the deafness.
Project description:BACKGROUND:the SLC52A2 gene encodes for the riboflavin transporter 2 (RFVT2). This transporter is ubiquitously expressed. It mediates the transport of Riboflavin across cell membranes. Riboflavin plays a crucial role in cells since its biologically active forms, FMN and FAD, are essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, amino acids, and lipids. Mutation of the Riboflavin transporters is a risk factor for anemia, cancer, cardiovascular disease, neurodegeneration. Inborn mutations of SLC52A2 are associated with Brown-Vialetto-van Laere syndrome, a rare neurological disorder characterized by infancy onset. In spite of the important metabolic and physio/pathological role of this transporter few data are available on its function and regulation. METHODS:the human recombinant RFVT2 has been overexpressed in E. coli, purified and reconstituted into proteoliposomes in order to characterize its activity following the [3H]Riboflavin transport. RESULTS:the recombinant hRFVT2 showed a Km of 0.26 ± 0.07 µM and was inhibited by lumiflavin, FMN and Mg2+. The Riboflavin uptake was also regulated by Ca2+. The native protein extracted from fibroblast and reconstituted in proteoliposomes also showed inhibition by FMN and lumiflavin. CONCLUSIONS:proteoliposomes represent a suitable model to assay the RFVT2 function. It will be useful for screening the mutation of RFVT2.
Project description:Mitochondria are the repository for various metabolites involved in diverse energy-generating processes, like the TCA cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, and metabolism of amino acids, fatty acids, and nucleotides, which rely significantly on flavoenzymes, such as oxidases, reductases, and dehydrogenases. Flavoenzymes are functionally dependent on biologically active flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) or flavin mononucleotide (FMN), which are derived from the dietary component riboflavin, a water soluble vitamin. Riboflavin regulates the structure and function of flavoenzymes through its cofactors FMN and FAD and, thus, protects the cells from oxidative stress and apoptosis. Hence, it is not surprising that any disturbance in riboflavin metabolism and absorption of this vitamin may have consequences on cellular FAD and FMN levels, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction by reduced energy levels, leading to riboflavin associated disorders, like cataracts, neurodegenerative and cardiovascular diseases, etc. Furthermore, mutations in either nuclear or mitochondrial DNA encoding for flavoenzymes and flavin transporters significantly contribute to the development of various neurological disorders. Moreover, recent studies have evidenced that riboflavin supplementation remarkably improved the clinical symptoms, as well as the biochemical abnormalities, in patients with neuronopathies, like Brown-Vialetto-Van-Laere syndrome (BVVLS) and Fazio-Londe disease. This review presents an updated outlook on the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disorders in which riboflavin deficiency leads to dysfunction in mitochondrial energy metabolism, and also highlights the significance of riboflavin supplementation in aforementioned disease conditions. Thus, the outcome of this critical assessment may exemplify a new avenue to enhance the understanding of possible mechanisms in the progression of neurodegenerative diseases and may provide new rational approaches of disease surveillance and treatment.
Project description:Brown-Vialetto-Van Laere Syndrome (BVVLS), a rare neurological disorder characterized by bulbar palsies and sensorineural deafness, is mainly associated with defective riboflavin transporters encoded by the SLC52A2 and SLC52A3 genes.Here we present a 16-year-old BVVLS patient belonging to a five generation consanguineous family from Indian ethnicity with two homozygous missense mutations viz., c.421C>A [p.P141T] in SLC52A2 and c.62A>G [p.N21S] in SLC52A3.Functional characterization based on 3H-riboflavin uptake assay and live-cell confocal imaging revealed that the effect of mutation c.421C>A [p.P141T] identified in SLC52A2 had a slight reduction in riboflavin uptake; on the other hand, the c.62A>G [p.N21S] identified in SLC52A3 showed a drastic reduction in riboflavin uptake, which appeared to be due to impaired trafficking and membrane targeting of the hRFVT-3 protein.This is the first report presenting mutations in both riboflavin transporters hRFVT-2 and hRFVT-3 in the same BVVLS patient. Also, c.62A>G [p.N21S] in SLC52A3 appears to contribute more to the disease phenotype in this patient than c.421C>A [p.P141T] in SLC52A2.