Clinical and molecular diagnosis of cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis with a review of the mutations in the CYP27A1 gene

Neurol Sci. 2006 Jun;27(2):143-9. doi: 10.1007/s10072-006-0618-7.


Cerebrotendinous xanthomatosis (CTX) is a rare autosomal recessive disease due to defective activity of the mitochondrial enzyme sterol 27-hydroxylase. In 1991, sterol 27-hydroxylase gene (CYP27A1) was localised on the long arm of chromosome 2 [1]. Clinical characteristics of CTX are diarrhoea, cataracts, tendon xanthomas and neurological manifestations including dementia, psychiatric disturbances, pyramidal and/or cerebellar signs, and seizures. More than 300 patients with CTX have been reported to date worldwide and about 50 different mutations identified in the CYP27A1 gene. Almost all mutations lead to the absence or inactive form of the sterol 27-hydroxylase. In this review, according with the aims of this section of the journal, we describe the different pathogenetic mutations in the CYP27A1 gene and the main clinical and pathogenetic aspects that may help clinical neurologists in the diagnosis of CTX.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Steroid Hydroxylases / genetics*
  • Xanthomatosis, Cerebrotendinous / diagnosis*
  • Xanthomatosis, Cerebrotendinous / genetics*
  • Xanthomatosis, Cerebrotendinous / physiopathology*


  • Steroid Hydroxylases
  • CYP27A1 protein, human
  • Cholestanetriol 26-Monooxygenase