Metabolomics Reveals New Mechanisms for Pathogenesis in Barth Syndrome and Introduces Novel Roles for Cardiolipin in Cellular Function

PLoS One. 2016 Mar 25;11(3):e0151802. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151802. eCollection 2016.


Barth Syndrome is the only known Mendelian disorder of cardiolipin remodeling, with characteristic clinical features of cardiomyopathy, skeletal myopathy, and neutropenia. While the primary biochemical defects of reduced mature cardiolipin and increased monolysocardiolipin are well-described, much of the downstream biochemical dysregulation has not been uncovered, and biomarkers are limited. In order to further expand upon the knowledge of the biochemical abnormalities in Barth Syndrome, we analyzed metabolite profiles in plasma from a cohort of individuals with Barth Syndrome compared to age-matched controls via 1H nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. A clear distinction between metabolite profiles of individuals with Barth Syndrome and controls was observed, and was defined by an array of metabolite classes including amino acids and lipids. Pathway analysis of these discriminating metabolites revealed involvement of mitochondrial and extra-mitochondrial biochemical pathways including: insulin regulation of fatty acid metabolism, lipid metabolism, biogenic amine metabolism, amino acid metabolism, endothelial nitric oxide synthase signaling, and tRNA biosynthesis. Taken together, this data indicates broad metabolic dysregulation in Barth Syndrome with wide cellular effects.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Barth Syndrome / blood*
  • Barth Syndrome / genetics
  • Barth Syndrome / pathology*
  • Cardiolipins / blood*
  • Cardiolipins / genetics
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lipid Metabolism / genetics
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Metabolic Networks and Pathways / genetics
  • Metabolomics*
  • Mitochondria / metabolism
  • Mutation
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / blood
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase / genetics


  • Cardiolipins
  • Nitric Oxide Synthase