American journal of human genetics

Mutations in the gene encoding 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase results in progressive infantile neurodegeneration.

PMID 17160907


Only a single patient with 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase deficiency has been described in the literature, and the molecular basis of this inborn error of valine catabolism has remained unknown until now. Here, we present a second patient with 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase deficiency, who was identified through blood spot acylcarnitine analysis showing persistently increased levels of hydroxy-C(4)-carnitine. Both patients manifested hypotonia, poor feeding, motor delay, and subsequent neurological regression in infancy. Additional features in the newly identified patient included episodes of ketoacidosis and Leigh-like changes in the basal ganglia on a magnetic resonance imaging scan. In cultured skin fibroblasts from both patients, the 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase activity was deficient, and virtually no 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase protein could be detected by western blotting. Molecular analysis in both patients uncovered mutations in the HIBCH gene, including one missense mutation in a conserved part of the protein and two mutations affecting splicing. A carefully interpreted acylcarnitine profile will allow more patients with 3-hydroxyisobutyryl-CoA hydrolase deficiency to be diagnosed.