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Neurological insights on two siblings with GM3 synthase deficiency due to novel compound heterozygous ST3GAL5 variants

      Abstract

      Background

      ST3GAL5 encodes GM3 synthase (ST3 beta-galactoside alpha-2,3-sialyltransferase 5; ST3GAL5), which synthesizes GM3 by transferring sialic acid to lactosylceramide. GM3, a sialic acid-containing glycosphingolipid known as ganglioside, is a precursor to the biosynthesis of various more complex gangliosides that are active in the brain. Biallelic variants in ST3GAL5 cause GM3 synthase deficiency (GM3SD), a rare congenital disorder of glycosylation. GM3SD was first identified in the Amish population in 2004.

      Case

      We report two siblings diagnosed with GM3SD due to novel compound heterozygous ST3GAL5 variants. The novel ST3GAL5 variants, detected by whole-exome sequencing in the patients, were confirmed to be pathogenic by GM3 synthase assay. The clinical courses of these patients, which began in infancy with irritability and growth failure, followed by developmental delay and hearing loss, were consistent with previous case reports of GM3SD. The older sibling underwent deep brain stimulation for severe involuntary movements at the age of 9 years. The younger sibling suffered from acute encephalopathy at the age of 9 months and subsequently developed refractory epilepsy.

      Discussion

      Reports of GM3SD outside the Amish population are rare, and whole-exome sequencing may be required to diagnose GM3SD in non-Amish patients. Since an effective treatment for GM3SD has not yet been established, we might select deep brain stimulation as a symptomatic treatment for involuntary movements in GM3SD.

      Keywords

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