Clinical and molecular findings of 13 families from Saudi Arabia and a family from Sudan with homocystinuria

Clin Genet. 2012 Jun;81(6):563-70. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0004.2011.01690.x. Epub 2011 May 18.


Homocystinuria due to cystathionine beta synthase (CBS) deficiency results in elevated plasma homocysteine and methionine levels, which are associated with multiple organ pathologies, including vascular, respiratory, musculoskeletal, nervous, and ocular tissues. This autosomal recessive disorder is caused by homozygous or compound heterozygous mutations in the CBS gene encoding for the CBS. Although homocystinuria is observed in Arab and North African patients, their clinical presentations have not been described and molecular causes remained largely uninvestigated. In this study, we describe the clinical presentations of 22 homocystinuria patients from 13 Saudi Arabian families and 1 North African Sudanese family. Cardinal biochemical features of homocystinuria manifested in all patients, but heterogeneity of expression was observed for other associated phenotypes. One patient developed Legg-Calvé-Perthes disease that has not been previously described in homocystinuria. In the Saudi families, a novel nonsense mutation, p.Trp323X, and recurrent p.Arg336Cys and p.Gly153Arg mutations were identified in the CBS gene. The p.Trp323X mutation was found in 10 of the 13 unrelated Saudi families. In the Sudanese family, the p.Thr257Met mutation in the CBS gene, previously described in Italian and Spanish patients, was found. This study shows that the spectrum of CBS gene mutations in Saudi homocystinuria patients is quite different than the Arab patients from Qatar and Israel. This study is the only detailed phenotypic and genetic depiction of homocystinuria patients from Saudi Arabia and Sudan. The data are useful for diagnosis and management of Saudi patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase / deficiency
  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase / genetics
  • Female
  • Homocystinuria / ethnology*
  • Homocystinuria / genetics*
  • Humans
  • Israel
  • Male
  • Mutation
  • Pedigree
  • Phenotype
  • Qatar
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Sudan


  • Cystathionine beta-Synthase