Early diagnosis of adenylosuccinate lyase deficiency using a high-throughput screening method and a trial of oral S-adenosyl-l-methionine as a treatment method

Dev Med Child Neurol. 2013 Nov;55(11):1060-4. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12244. Epub 2013 Aug 13.


Aim: The aim of this study was to develop a high-throughput urine screening technique for adenylosuccinate lyase (ADSL) deficiency and to evaluate S-adenosyl-l-methionine (SAMe) as a potential treatment for this disorder.

Method: Testing for succinyladenosine (S-Ado), a marker of ADSL deficiency, was incorporated into a screening panel for urine biomarkers for inborn errors of metabolism using electrospray tandem mass spectrometry. Liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography were used to confirm and monitor the response of metabolites to oral SAMe treatment.

Results: Increased levels of S-Ado were detected in a 3-month-old male infant with hypotonia and seizures. ADSL gene sequencing revealed a previously described c.-49T>C mutation and a novel c.889_891dupAAT mutation, which was likely to disrupt enzyme function. After 9 months of SAMe treatment, there was no clear response evidenced in urine metabolite levels or clinical parameters.

Interpretation: These results demonstrate proof of the principle for the high-throughput urine screening technique, allowing earlier diagnosis of patients with ADSL deficiency. However, early treatment with SAMe does not appear to be effective in ADSL deficiency. It is suggested that although SAMe treatment may ameliorate purine nucleotide deficiency, it cannot correct metabolic syndromes in which a toxic nucleotide is present, in this case presumed to be succinylaminoimidazole carboxamide ribotide.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine / analogs & derivatives
  • Adenosine / metabolism
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / deficiency*
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / drug effects
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / genetics
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase / urine
  • Administration, Oral
  • Autistic Disorder
  • Child, Preschool
  • Chromatography, Liquid
  • Electroencephalography
  • Genotype
  • High-Throughput Screening Assays*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Mutation / genetics
  • Purine-Pyrimidine Metabolism, Inborn Errors / diagnosis*
  • Purine-Pyrimidine Metabolism, Inborn Errors / genetics
  • Purine-Pyrimidine Metabolism, Inborn Errors / urine
  • S-Adenosylmethionine / administration & dosage*
  • Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization


  • succinyladenosine
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Adenylosuccinate Lyase
  • Adenosine

Supplementary concepts

  • Adenylosuccinate lyase deficiency