Genotypic and phenotypic features in Turkish patients with classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia

Metab Brain Dis. 2021 Apr 1. doi: 10.1007/s11011-021-00718-3. Online ahead of print.


Nonketotic hyperglycinemia is an autosomal recessive inborn error of glycine metabolism, characterized by deficient activity of the glycine cleavage enzyme system. Classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia is caused by mutations or genomic changes in genes that encode the protein components of the glycine cleavage enzyme system. We aimed to investigate clinical, biochemical, radiological findings and molecular genetic data in ten Turkish patients with classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia. Ten Turkish patients who were diagnosed with classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia in a single center from 2013 to 2019 were included in this study. Their clinical, radiological, electrophysiological and laboratory data were collected retrospectively. Sixty percent of the patients were in neonatal group, while 40 % of the patients were infantile. There were no late-onset patients. 90 % of the patients had the severe form. All patients had developmental delay and seizures. Mortality ratio was 30 % in all groups and 50 % in the neonatal group, while no mortality was seen in infantile group. Median (range) values of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) glycine levels, plasma glycine levels and CSF/plasma glycine ratios were 148 (15-320) µmol/L, 896 (87-1910) µmol/L, 0.17 (0.09-0.21) respectively. Diffuse hypomyelination and corpus callosum anomaly were the most common cranial MRI findings and multifocal epileptic activity and burst supression pattern were the most common electroencephalographic findings. Six patients had variants in GLDC gene and four in AMT gene; five novel variants including AMT gene deletion were detected. Prognosis was poor and treatment was not effective, especially in the severe form. Classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia causes high morbidity and mortality. Neonatal-onset disease was more common and severe than infantile-onset disease. The ratio of AMT gene variants might be higher in Turkey than other countries. AMT gene deletion also plays a role in the etiology of classic nonketotic hyperglycinemia.