A novel therapeutic strategy for phenylketonuria (PKU) has been initiated in Japan. A total of 12 patients who met the criteria for tetrahydrobiopterin (BH4)-responsive hyperphenylalaninemia (HPA) with a mutant phenylalanine hydroxylase (PAH) (EC 18.104.22.168) gene were recruited at 12 medical centers in Japan between June 1995 and July 2001. Therapeutic efficacy of BH4 was evaluated in single-dose, four-dose, and 1-wk BH 4 loading tests followed by long-term BH4 treatment, and also examined in relation to the PAH gene mutations. The endpoints were determined as the percentage decline in serum phenylalanine from initial values after single-dose (>20%), four-dose (>30%), and 1-wk BH4 (>50%) loading tests. Patients with mild PKU exhibiting decreases in blood phenylalanine concentrations of >20% in the single-dose test also demonstrated decreases of >30% in the four-dose test. The 1-wk test elicited BH4 responsiveness even in patients with poor responses in the shorter tests. Patients with mild HPA, many of whom carry the R241C allele, responded to BH4 administration. No clear correlation was noted between the degree of decrease in serum phenylalanine concentrations in the single- or four-dose tests and specific PAH mutations. The 1-wk test (20 mg/kg of BH4 per day) is the most sensitive test for the diagnosis of BH4-responsive PAH deficiency. Responsiveness apparently depends on mutations in the PAH gene causing mild PKU, such as R241C. BH4 proved to be an effective therapy that may be able to replace or liberalize the phenylalanine-restricted diets for a considerable number of patients with mild PKU.
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 2004 Mar|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health