Systemic primary carnitine deficiency (CDSP, MIM 212140) is a disorder of fatty acid oxidation manifesting in acute metabolic decompensation or in progressive cardiomyopathy and muscle weakness. Mutations in the plasmalemmal organic cation/carnitine transporter OCTN2 were recently identified in CDSP patients of diverse ethnic backgrounds. We have performed OCTN2 mutation analysis in two unrelated German patients with primary carnitine deficiency and identified three molecular abnormalities. On one of the four chromosomes analyzed, we detected an Arg169Gln missense mutation that affects an arginine residue absolutely conserved in the entire transporter superfamily to which OCTN2 belongs. On the three other chromosomes, we found an Arg282ter nonsense mutation in exon 5. This mutation is embedded into different haplotypes of closely spaced intragenic dimorphisms in our two patients and was recently described in a patient of Asiatic Indian background, so it appears to be a recurrent or ancient founder mutation that may account for more CDSP cases. Finally, we found that the Arg282ter nonsense mutation is associated with a splicing abnormality at the intron 6/exon 7 junction. However, no mutations are present in exon 6, intron 6, or exon 7, suggesting that defective splicing of exon 7 on the Arg282ter allele is due to an unconventional, long-distance mechanism.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published