Absence of hepatic molybdenum cofactor: An inborn error of metabolism leading to a combined deficiency of sulphite oxidase and xanthine dehydrogenase
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Five patients with a combined deficiency of xanthine dehydrogenase, sulphite oxidase and, probably, also of aldehyde oxidase are described. This remarkable coincidence of three inborn errors of metabolism in a single individual was demonstrated to result from a deficiency of the ‘molybdenum cofactor’, an essential constituent of all three enzymes. The main biochemical findings in these patients included: hypouricaemia, xanthinuria, an increased excretion of sulphite, thiosulphate andS-sulphocysteine and a decreased excretion of inorganic sulphate. Plasma molybdenum was normal. The ultimate diagnosis was made by the measurement of ‘molybdenum cofactor’ in a liver biopsy specimen in three out of five patients.
The clinical hallmarks in these patients were: feeding difficulties, mental retardation, neurological symptoms, lens dislocation, an abnormal muscle tone, myoclonia and an abnormal physiognomy. The majority of these were already present in the neonatal period. So far, attempts at treatment have been unsuccessful.
KeywordsMolybdenum Inborn Error Sulphite Thiosulphate Biochemical Finding
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