Wolcott-Rallison syndrome with 3-hydroxydicarboxylic aciduria and lethal outcome

J Inherit Metab Dis. 2008 Dec;31 Suppl 2:S293-7. doi: 10.1007/s10545-008-0866-1. Epub 2008 May 20.


Wolcott-Rallison syndrome (WRS) (OMIM 226980) is a rare, autosomal recessive disorder with infancy-onset diabetes mellitus, multiple epiphyseal dysplasia, osteopenia, mental retardation or developmental delay, and hepatic and renal dysfunction as main clinical findings. Patients with WRS have mutations in the EIF2AK3 gene, which encodes the pancreatic eukaryotic translation initiation factor 2-alpha kinase 3. We report a female patient who developed insulin-requiring diabetes at 2.5 months of age. Multiple epiphyseal dysplasia was diagnosed at age 2 years. At age 5.5 years she developed a Reye-like syndrome with hypoketotic hypoglycaemia and renal and hepatic insufficiency and died. A partial autopsy showed fat infiltration in the liver and kidneys. Examination of urine by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry showed large amounts of C(6)-dicarboxylic acid (adipic acid), 3-hydroxy-C(8)-dicarboxylic acid, 3-hydroxy-C(10)-dicarboxylic acid, and 3-hydroxydecenedioic acid. Acetoacetate and 3-hydroxybutyrate were absent. The findings suggested a metabolic block in mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, but lack of material precluded enzyme analyses. The clinical diagnosis of WRS was suggested in retrospect, and confirmed by sequencing of DNA extracted from stored autopsy material. The patient was compound heterozygous for the novel EIF2AK3 mutations c.1694_1695delAT (Y565X) and c.3044T > C (F1015S). Our data suggest that disruption of the EIF2AK3 gene may lead to defective mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation and hypoglycaemia, thus adding to the heterogeneous phenotype of WRS.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adipates / urine
  • Biomarkers / urine
  • Child, Preschool
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / diagnosis*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / enzymology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / urine
  • Dicarboxylic Acids / urine*
  • Disease Progression
  • Epiphyses / abnormalities
  • Epiphyses / enzymology
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry
  • Hepatic Insufficiency / etiology
  • Humans
  • Hydroxy Acids / urine*
  • Infant
  • Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / etiology*
  • Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics
  • Lipid Metabolism, Inborn Errors / urine
  • Mutation
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / complications
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / diagnosis*
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / enzymology
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / etiology
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / genetics
  • Osteochondrodysplasias / urine
  • Renal Insufficiency / etiology
  • eIF-2 Kinase / genetics


  • Adipates
  • Biomarkers
  • Dicarboxylic Acids
  • Hydroxy Acids
  • adipic acid
  • EIF2AK3 protein, human
  • eIF-2 Kinase

Supplementary concepts

  • Wolcott-Rallison syndrome