Novel NAXE variants as a cause for neurometabolic disorder: implications for treatment

Joanne Trinh, Sophie Imhoff, Marija Dulovic-Mahlow, Krishna Kumar Kandaswamy, Vera Tadic, Jochen Schäfer, Valerija Dobricic, Achim Nolte, Martin Werber, Arndt Rolfs, Alexander Münchau, Christine Klein*, Katja Lohmann, Norbert Brüggemann

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit
1 Zitat (Scopus)


Neurometabolic disorders are often inherited and complex disorders that result from abnormalities of enzymes important for development and function of the nervous system. Recently, biallelic mutations in NAXE (APOA1BP) were found in patients with an infantile, lethal, neurometabolic disease. Here, exome sequencing was performed in two affected sisters and their healthy parents. The best candidate, NAXE, was tested for replication in exome sequencing data from 4351 patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. Quantitative RT-PCR, western blot and form factor analysis were performed to assess NAXE expression, protein levels and to analyze mitochondrial morphology in fibroblasts. Vitamin B3 was administered to one patient. Compound heterozygous missense (c.757G>A: p.Gly253Ser) and splicing (c.665-1G>A) variants in NAXE were identified in both affected sisters. In contrast to the previously reported patients with biallelic NAXE variants, our patients showed a milder phenotype with disease onset in early adulthood with psychosis, cognitive impairment, seizures, cerebellar ataxia and spasticity. The symptoms fluctuated. Additional screening of NAXE identified three novel homozygous missense variants (p.Lys245Gln, p.Asp218Asn, p.Ile214Val) in three patients with overlapping phenotype (fluctuating disease course, respiratory insufficiency, movement disorder). Lastly, patients with the c.665-1G>A splicing variant showed a significant reduction of NAXE expression compared to control fibroblasts and undetectable NAXE protein levels compared to control fibroblasts. Based on the metabolic pathway, vitamin B3 and coenzyme Q treatment was introduced in one patient in addition to antiepileptic treatment. This combination and avoidance of triggers was associated with continuous motor and cognitive improvement. The NAXE variants identified in this study suggest a loss-of-function mechanism leading to an insufficient NAD(P)HX repair system. Importantly, symptoms of patients with NAXE variants may improve with vitamin B3/coenzyme Q administration.

ZeitschriftJournal of Neurology
Seiten (von - bis)770-782
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 01.03.2020

Strategische Forschungsbereiche und Zentren

  • Querschnittsbereich: Medizinische Genetik


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