Novel subtype of mucopolysaccharidosis caused by arylsulfatase K (ARSK) deficiency

Sarah Verheyen, Jasmin Blatterer, Michael R. Speicher, Gandham Sri Lakshmi Bhavani, Geert Jan Boons, Mai Britt Ilse, Dominik Andrae, Jens Sproß, Frédéric Maxime Vaz, Susanne G. Kircher, Laura Posch-Pertl, Daniela Baumgartner, Torben Lübke, Hitesh Shah, Ali Al Kaissi, Katta M. Girisha, Barbara Plecko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Mucopolysaccharidoses (MPS) are monogenic metabolic disorders that significantly affect the skeleton. Eleven enzyme defects in the lysosomal degradation of glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) have been assigned to the known MPS subtypes (I-IX). Arylsulfatase K (ARSK) is a recently characterised lysosomal hydrolase involved in GAG degradation that removes the 2-O-sulfate group from 2-sulfoglucuronate. Knockout of Arsk in mice was consistent with mild storage pathology, but no human phenotype has yet been described. METHODS: In this study, we report four affected individuals of two unrelated consanguineous families with homozygous variants c.250C>T, p.(Arg84Cys) and c.560T>A, p.(Leu187Ter) in ARSK, respectively. Functional consequences of the two ARSK variants were assessed by mutation-specific ARSK constructs derived by site-directed mutagenesis, which were ectopically expressed in HT1080 cells. Urinary GAG excretion was analysed by dimethylene blue and electrophoresis, as well as liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry (LC-MS)/MS analysis. RESULTS: The phenotypes of the affected individuals include MPS features, such as short stature, coarse facial features and dysostosis multiplex. Reverse phenotyping in two of the four individuals revealed additional cardiac and ophthalmological abnormalities. Mild elevation of dermatan sulfate was detected in the two subjects investigated by LC-MS/MS. Human HT1080 cells expressing the ARSK-Leu187Ter construct exhibited absent protein levels by western blot, and cells with the ARSK-Arg84Cys construct showed markedly reduced enzyme activity in an ARSK-specific enzymatic assay against 2-O-sulfoglucuronate-containing disaccharides as analysed by C18-reversed-phase chromatography followed by MS. CONCLUSION: Our work provides a detailed clinical and molecular characterisation of a novel subtype of mucopolysaccharidosis, which we suggest to designate subtype X.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)957-964
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Medical Genetics
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


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