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Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 (PDP1) null mutation produces a lethal infantile phenotype

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Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase deficiency has previously only been confirmed at the molecular level in two brothers and two breeds of dog with exercise intolerance. A female patient, who died at 6 months, presented with lactic acidemia in the neonatal period with serum lactate levels ranging from 2.5 to 17 mM. Failure of dichloroacetate to activate the PDH complex in skin fibroblasts was evident, but not in early passages. A homozygous c.277G > T (p.E93X) nonsense mutation in the PDP1 gene was identified in genomic DNA and immunoblotting showed a complete absence of PDP1 protein in mitochondria. Native PDHC activity could be restored by the addition of either recombinant PDP1 or PDP2. This highlights the role of PDP2, the second phosphatase isoform, in PDP1-deficient patients for the first time. We conclude that the severity of the clinical course associated with PDP1 deficiency can be quite variable depending on the exact nature of the molecular defect.

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Base pair


Coenzyme A




Polymerase chain reaction


Pyruvate dehydrogenase


Pyruvate dehydrogenase complex


Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase


Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase


Reverse transcriptase


Trichloroacetic acid

TCA cycle:

Tricarboxylic acid cycle


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We thank the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (BHR) and the Mitomarch for Kirkland for support of this research program.

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Correspondence to B. H. Robinson.

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Cameron, J.M., Maj, M., Levandovskiy, V. et al. Pyruvate dehydrogenase phosphatase 1 (PDP1) null mutation produces a lethal infantile phenotype. Hum Genet 125, 319–326 (2009).

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