Rett syndrome revisited: A patient with biotin dependency

C. Bachmann, J. Schaub, J. P. Colombo, B. J. Burri, L. Sweetman, B. Wolf

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A patient with Rett syndrome (cerebral atrophy associated with hyperammonemia) was studied. Primary defects of urea cycle enzymes were excluded as causes of the disorder. The analysis of urinary organic acids showed a moderate increase of lactate, methylcitrate, tiglylglycine and 3-hydroxisovalerate, indicating an abnormality of multiple carboxylases. Biotin supplementation reversed the urinary abnormalities. In fibroblasts grown with a low biotin medium propionylCoA and 3-methylcrotonylCoA carboxylase activities were reduced. Holocarboxylase synthetase activity was normal (Vmax and Km). Surprisingly the biotinidase in fibroblasts was not decreased. The data indicate that some patients with Rett syndrome might suffer from a biotin-dependent defect of unknown nature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-566
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Apr 1986
Externally publishedYes


  • Biotinidase
  • Holocarboxylase synthetase
  • Hyperammonemia
  • Multiple carboxylases
  • Rett syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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