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      Autoimmune Polyendocrinopathy-Candidiasis-Ectodermal Dystrophy Presenting with Severe Keratopathy in an Egyptian Patient with a Homozygous R139X Mutation

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          Objective: To report a patient with an unusual presentation of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) and severe keratopathy. Case History: An Egyptian male sustained an injury to the left eye at 13 years of age and was found to have corneal damage which was attributed to the injury. Subsequently, however, he continued to have sore eyes with photophobia. A year later he became weak with pigmentation and episodes of collapse, and investigation showed that he had Addison’s disease together with mucocutaneous candidiasis. At 15 years of age he developed carpo-pedal spasm and was found to have hypoparathyroidism with intracranial calcification. At 20 years of age the ophthalmic diagnosis was revised to keratopathy by which time the patient had corneal opacity and problems with visual acuity, especially in the right eye. Investigation at 22 years of age showed that he was homozygous for an R139X mutation in the gene encoding the AIRE protein, a mutation which to date has only been found in Sardinian patients. Conclusions: Keratopathy can be an early and severe manifestation of APECED, requiring expert ophthalmic care. Its presence should prompt a search for other components of APECED, some of which are life-threatening.

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          Most cited references 14

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          Positional cloning of the APECED gene.

          Autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type I (APS 1, also called APECED) is an autosomal-recessive disorder that maps to human chromosome 21q22.3 between markers D21S49 and D21S171 by linkage studies. We have isolated a novel gene from this region, AIRE (autoimmune regulator), which encodes a protein containing motifs suggestive of a transcription factor including two zinc-finger (PHD-finger) motifs, a proline-rich region and three LXXLL motifs. Two mutations, a C-->T substitution that changes the Arg 257 (CGA) to a stop codon (TGA) and an A-->G substitution that changes the Lys 83 (AAG) to a Glu codon (GAG), were found in this novel gene in Swiss and Finnish APECED patients. The Arg257stop (R257X) is the predominant mutation in Finnish APECED patients, accounting for 10/12 alleles studied. These results indicate that this gene is responsible for the pathogenesis of APECED. The identification of the gene defective in APECED should facilitate the genetic diagnosis and potential treatment of the disease and further enhance our general understanding of the mechanisms underlying autoimmune diseases.
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            Clinical variation of autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) in a series of 68 patients.

            To define the clinical picture and course of the autosomal recessive disease called autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED), we report data from our 10-month to 31-year follow-up of 68 patients from 54 families, now 10 months to 53 years of age. The clinical manifestations varied greatly and included from one to eight disease components, 63 percent of the patients having three to five of them. The initial manifestation was oral candidiasis in 41 patients (60 percent), intestinal malabsorption in 6 (9 percent), and keratopathy in 2 (3 percent). All the patients had candidiasis at some time. The earliest endocrine component appeared at 19 months to 35 years of age. Hypoparathyroidism was present in 54 patients (79 percent), adrenocortical failure in 49 (72 percent), and gonadal failure in 15 (60 percent) of the female patients greater than or equal to 13 years of age and 4 (14 percent) of the male patients greater than or equal to 16 years of age. There were multiple endocrine deficiencies in half the patients. From 4 to 29 percent of the patients had periodic malabsorption, gastric parietal-cell atrophy, hepatitis, alopecia, vitiligo, or a combination of these conditions. Dental-enamel hypoplasia and keratopathy were also frequent but were not attributable to hypoparathyroidism. In the patients whose initial manifestation (other than candidiasis) was adrenal failure, the other components developed less often than in the remaining patients. We conclude that the clinical spectrum in patients with APECED is broad. The majority of patients have three to five manifestations, some of which may not appear until the fifth decade. Therefore, all patients need lifelong follow-up for the detection of new components of the disease.
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              Prevalence and clinical associations of 10 defined autoantibodies in autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I.

              The prevalence of autoantibodies against nine intracellular enzyme autoantigens, namely 21-hydroxylase, side-chain cleavage enzyme (SCC), 17 alpha-hydroxylase, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase, tyrosine phosphatase-like protein IA-2, tryptophan hydroxylase (TPH), tyrosine hydroxylase, cytochrome P450 1A2, and against the extracellular calcium-sensing receptor, was assessed in 90 patients with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I. A multivariate logistic regression analysis was performed for the presence of autoantibodies as independent predictors for different disease manifestations. Reactivities against 21-hydroxylase and SCC were associated with Addison's disease with odds ratios (ORs) of 7.8 and 6.8, respectively. Hypogonadism was exclusively associated with autoantibodies against SCC with an OR of 12.5. Autoantibodies against tyrosine phosphatase-like protein IA-2 were associated with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus with an OR of 14.9, but with low sensitivity. Reactivities against TPH and, surprisingly, glutamic acid decarboxylase 65, were associated with intestinal dysfunction, with ORs of 3.9 and 6.7, respectively. TPH reactivity was the best predictor for autoimmune hepatitis, with an OR of 27.0. Hypoparathyroidism was not associated with reactivity against any of the autoantigens tested. No reactivity against the calcium-sensing receptor was found. Analysis of autoantibodies in autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type I patients is a useful tool for establishing autoimmune manifestations of the disease as well as providing diagnosis in patients with suspected disease.

                Author and article information

                Horm Res Paediatr
                Hormone Research in Paediatrics
                S. Karger AG
                October 2005
                13 October 2005
                : 64
                : 2
                : 96-99
                aMaadi Hospital and bKobri Al Kobba Hospital, Cairo, Egypt; cUniversity of Tampere, Tampere, Finland; dUniversity of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland, UK
                88307 Horm Res 2005;64:96–99
                © 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 3, References: 23, Pages: 4
                Case Report


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