Hepatic mitochondrial 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme a synthase deficiency

Pediatr Res. 1998 Sep;44(3):392-6. doi: 10.1203/00006450-199809000-00021.


There are at least two isoenzymes of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl (HMG)-CoA synthase (EC located in the mitochondrial matrix and the cytoplasm of hepatocytes, respectively. The mitochondrial enzyme is necessary for the synthesis of ketone bodies, which are important fuels during fasting. We report a child with a deficiency of this isoenzyme. He presented at 16 mo with hypoglycemia. There was no rise in ketone bodies during fasting or after a long chain fat load but there was a small rise after a leucine load. Measurement of beta-oxidation flux in fibroblasts was normal. Using antibodies specific for mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase, no immunoreactive material could be detected on Western blotting. Total HMG-CoA synthase activity in liver homogenate was only slightly lower than in control samples. Presumably, as there was no mitochondrial HMG-CoA synthase enzyme protein, this activity arose from the cytoplasmic or other (e.g. peroxisomal) isoenzymes. With avoidance of fasting, our patient has had no problems since presentation and is developing normally at 4 y of age.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cells, Cultured
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Fibroblasts / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Synthase / deficiency*
  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Synthase / genetics
  • Immunoblotting
  • Liver / metabolism*
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Mitochondria, Liver / metabolism*
  • Oxidation-Reduction


  • Hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA Synthase