Objectives: To assess whether copper deficiency plays a role in the recently described cysteamine toxicity in patients with cystinosis, and to examine whether polymorphisms in copper transporters, lysyl oxidase, and/or type I procollagen genes could be responsible for the occurrence of cysteamine toxicity in a small subset of patients with cystinosis. Study design: Thirty-six patients with cystinosis were included: 22 with Fanconi syndrome (including 7 with cysteamine toxicity), 12 after renal transplantation, 1 receiving hemodialysis, and 1 with ocular cystinosis. Serum copper and ceruloplasmin levels and urinary copper/creatinine ratio were measured. Genes ATP7A and CTR1 (encoding copper transporters), LOX (encoding lysyl oxidase), and COL1A1 and COL1A2 (encoding type I procollagen) were analyzed in patients with (n = 6) and without (n = 5) toxicity. Fibroblast (pro)collagen synthesis was compared in patients with (n = 3) and those without (n = 2) cysteamine toxicity. Results: All 22 patients with Fanconi syndrome had increased urinary copper excretion. Serum copper and ceruloplasmin levels were decreased in 9 patients, including all 7 patients with cysteamine toxicity. No specific sequence variations were associated with toxicity. All fibroblasts exhibited normal (pro)collagen synthesis. Conclusion: Patients with cystinosis with cysteamine toxicity demonstrate copper deficiency. This can cause decreased activity of lysyl oxidase, the enzyme that generates the aldehydes required for collagen cross-linking. Thus, copper supplementation might prevent cysteamine toxicity.
- Fanconi syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health