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Marianne C Astor, Kristian Løvås, Anette S B Wolff, Bjørn Nedrebø, Eirik Bratland, Jon Steen-Johnsen and Eystein S Husebye

Primary hypomagnesemia with secondary hypocalcemia (HSH) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by neuromuscular symptoms in infancy due to extremely low levels of serum magnesium and moderate to severe hypocalcemia. Homozygous mutations in the magnesium transporter gene transient receptor potential cation channel member 6 (TRPM6) cause the disease. HSH can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The aim of this study was to describe the genetic, clinical and biochemical features of patients clinically diagnosed with HSH in a Norwegian cohort. Five patients in four families with clinical features of HSH were identified, including one during a national survey of hypoparathyroidism. The clinical history of the patients and their families were reviewed and gene analyses of TRPM6 performed. Four of five patients presented with generalized seizures in infancy and extremely low levels of serum magnesium accompanied by moderate hypocalcemia. Two of the patients had an older sibling who died in infancy. Four novel mutations and one large deletion in TRPM6 were identified. In one patient two linked homozygous mutations were located in exon 22 (p.F978L) and exon 23 (p.G1042V). Two families had an identical mutation in exon 25 (p.E1155X). The fourth patient had a missense mutation in exon 4 (p.H61N) combined with a large deletion in the C-terminal end of the gene. HSH is a potentially lethal condition that can be misdiagnosed as primary hypoparathyroidism. The diagnosis is easily made if serum magnesium is measured. When treated appropriately with high doses of oral magnesium supplementation, severe hypomagnesemia is uncommon and the long-term prognosis seems to be good.

Open access

Ingeborg Brønstad, Lars Breivik, Paal Methlie, Anette S B Wolff, Eirik Bratland, Ingrid Nermoen, Kristian Løvås and Eystein S Husebye

In about 95% of cases, congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is caused by mutations in CYP21A2 gene encoding steroid 21-hydroxylase (21OH). Recently, we have reported four novel CYP21A2 variants in the Norwegian population of patients with CAH, of which p.L388R and p.E140K were associated with salt wasting (SW), p.P45L with simple virilising (SV) and p.V211M+p.V281L with SV to non-classical (NC) phenotypes. We aimed to characterise the novel variants functionally utilising a newly designed in vitro assay of 21OH enzyme activity and structural simulations and compare the results with clinical phenotypes. CYP21A2 mutations and variants were expressed in vitro. Enzyme activity was assayed by assessing the conversion of 17-hydroxyprogesterone to 11-deoxycortisol by liquid chromatography tandem mass spectroscopy. PyMOL 1.3 was used for structural simulations, and PolyPhen2 and PROVEAN for predicting the severity of the mutants. The CYP21A2 mutants, p.L388R and p.E140K, exhibited 1.1 and 11.3% of wt 21OH enzyme activity, respectively, in vitro. We could not detect any functional deficiency of the p.P45L variant in vitro; although prediction tools suggest p.P45L to be pathogenic. p.V211M displayed enzyme activity equivalent to the wt in vitro, which was supported by in silico analyses. We found good correlations between phenotype and the in vitro enzyme activities of the SW mutants, but not for the SV p.P45L variant. p.V211M might have a synergistic effect together with p.V281L, explaining a phenotype between SV and NC CAH.