Molybdenum cofactor (Moco)-deficiency is a lethal autosomal recessive disease, for which until now no effective therapy is available. The biochemical hallmark of this disorder is the inactivity of the Moco-dependent sulfite oxidase, which results in elevated sulfite and diminished sulfate levels throughout the organism. In humans, Moco-deficiency results in neurological damage, which is apparent in untreatable seizures and various brain dysmorphisms. We have recently described a murine model for Moco-deficiency, which reflects all enzyme and metabolite changes observed in the patients, and an efficient therapy using a biosynthetic precursor of Moco has been established in this animal model. We now analyzed these mice in detail and excluded morphological brain damage, while expression analysis with microarrays indicates a massive cell death program. This neuronal damage appears to be triggered by elevated sulfite levels and is ameliorated in affected embryos by maternal clearance.
- Maternal clearance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism