Lesch-Nyhan Syndrome: Models, Theories, and Therapies

Mol Syndromol. 2016 Nov;7(6):302-311. doi: 10.1159/000449296. Epub 2016 Sep 24.


Lesch-Nyhan syndrome (LNS) is a rare X-linked disorder caused by mutations in HPRT1, an important enzyme in the purine salvage pathway. Symptoms of LNS include dystonia, gout, intellectual disability, and self-mutilation. Despite having been characterized over 50 years ago, it remains unclear precisely how deficits in hypoxanthine and guanine recycling can lead to such a profound neurological phenotype. Several studies have proposed different hypotheses regarding the etiology of this disease, and several treatments have been tried in patients, though none have led to a satisfactory explanation of the disease. New technologies such as next-generation sequencing, optogenetics, genome editing, and induced pluripotent stem cells provide a unique opportunity to map the precise sequential pathways leading from genotype to phenotype.

Keywords: Lesch-Nyhan syndrome; Models; Theories; Therapies.

Publication types

  • Review