Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (ACOX1) deficiency is a rare autosomal recessive single enzyme deficiency characterized by hypotonia, seizures, failure to thrive, developmental delay, and neurological regression starting from approximately 3 years of age. Here, we report two siblings with ACOX1 deficiency born to non-consanguineous Japanese parents. They showed mild global developmental delay from infancy and began to regress at 5 years 10 months and 5 years 6 months of age respectively. They gradually manifested with cerebellar ataxia, dysarthria, pyramidal signs, and dysphasia. Brain MRI revealed T2 high-intensity areas in the cerebellar white matter, bilateral middle cerebellar peduncle, and transverse tracts of the pons, followed by progressive atrophy of these areas. Intriguingly, the ratios of C24:0, C25:0, and C26:0 to C22:0 in plasma, which usually increase in ACOX1 deficiency were within normal ranges in both patients. On the other hand, whole exome sequencing revealed novel compound heterozygous variants in ACOX1: a frameshift variant (c.160delC:p.Leu54Serfs*18) and a missense variant (c.1259 T > C:p.Phe420Ser). The plasma concentration of individual very long chain fatty acids (C24:0, C25:0, and C26:0) was elevated, and we found that peroxisomes in fibroblasts of the patients were larger in size and fewer in number as previously reported in patients with ACOX1 deficiency. Furthermore, the C24:0 β-oxidation activity was dramatically reduced. Our findings suggest that the elevation of individual plasma very long chain fatty acids concentration, genetic analysis including whole exome analysis, and biochemical studies on the patient's fibroblasts should be considered for the correct diagnosis of ACOX1 deficiency.
Keywords: ACOX1; Metabolic screening; Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase deficiency; Peroxisomes; Very long chain fatty acids; β-Oxidation.
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