Maple syrup urine disease results from inherited defects in human nuclear genes for branched chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase, a mitochondrial multienzyme complex. Thiamin pyrophosphate is necessary for complex activity and a thiamin-responsive form of maple syrup urine disease is known. Here we demonstrate the use of [1-13C]leucine oxidation to [13C]O2 quantified in breath samples as a means of assessing whole body leucine oxidation. Analysis of cultured cells from this patient shows the antigenic lack of the E2 subunit, yet she gained branched chain α-ketoacid dehydrogenase activity in response to diet supplementation with pharmacologic doses of thiamin. These cultured cells were used to seek a molecular basis for the observed thiamin response. Despite normal thiamin transport in these cells, medium supplementation of up to 1000 mg thiamin/liter failed to increase complex activity or cause the antigenic appearance of the missing protein. This lack of response in cultured cells suggests that the observed whole body response to thiamin must be a tissue-specific effect in liver, muscle, or kidney. In addition, allele-specific detection of paternal and maternal mutations was used to genotype family members in this pedigree.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism