Monolysocardiolipin in cultured fibroblasts is a sensitive and specific marker for Barth Syndrome

Michiel Adriaan Van Werkhoven, David Ross Thorburn, Agi Kyra Gedeon, James Jonathon Pitt

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37 Citations (Scopus)


Barth Syndrome (BTHS) is an X-linked recessive disorder that results in abnormal metabolism of the mitochondrial phospholipid cardiolipin (CL). CLs are decreased and monolysocardiolipins (MLCLs), intermediates in CL metabolism, are increased in a variety of tissues. Measurement of decreased CL levels in skin fibroblasts has previously been proposed as a diagnostic test for BTHS. We investigated whether elevated MLCL is specific for BTHS and whether the MLCL-to-CL ratio is a more sensitive and specific marker for BTHS. We measured CLs and MLCLs in skin fibroblasts from 5 BTHS patients, 8 controls, and 14 patients with biochemical and clinical findings similar to those in BTHS (group D), using high performance liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry. Our results showed a clear decrease of CL in combination with a marked increase of MLCL in fibroblasts from BTHS patients when compared with controls. MLCL/CL ratios ranged from 0.03-0.12 in control fibroblasts and from 5.41-13.83 in BTHS fibroblasts. In group D, the MLCL/CL ratio range was 0.02-0.06. We therefore conclude that elevations of MLCLs are specific for BTHS and that the MLCL/CL ratio in fibroblasts is a better diagnostic marker than CL alone. We also report the finding of two novel mutations in the TAZ gene that cause BTHS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2346-2351
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Lipid Research
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2006


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