A novel deep intronic variant strongly associates with Alkaptonuria

NPJ Genom Med. 2021 Oct 22;6(1):89. doi: 10.1038/s41525-021-00252-2.


Alkaptonuria is a rare autosomal recessive inherited disorder of tyrosine metabolism, which causes ochronosis, arthropathy, cardiac valvular calcification, and urolithiasis. The epidemiology of alkaptonuria in East Asia is not clear. In this study, patients diagnosed with alkaptonuria from January 2010 to June 2020 were reviewed. Their clinical and molecular features were further compared with those of patients from other countries. Three patients were found to have alkaptonuria. Mutation analyses of the homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase gene (HGD) showed four novel variants c.16-2063 A > C, p.(Thr196Ile), p.(Gly344AspfsTer25), and p.(Gly362Arg) in six mutated alleles (83.3%). RNA sequencing revealed that c.16-2063 A > C activates a cryptic exon, causing protein truncation p.(Tyr5_Ile6insValTer17). A literature search identified another 6 patients with alkaptonuria in East Asia; including our cases, 13 of the 18 mutated alleles have not been reported elsewhere in the world. Alkaptonuria is rare in Taiwan and East Asia, with HGD variants being mostly novel and private.