Fetal glycosylation defect due to ALG3 and GOG5 variants detected via amniocentesis: complex glycosylation defect with embryonic lethal phenotype

Alejandro Ferrer, Rodrigo Tzovenos Starosta, Wasantha Ranatunga, Dani Ungar, Tamas Kozicz, Eric Klee, Laura Rust, Myra Wick, Eva Morava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are inborn errors of glycan metabolism with high clinical variability. Only a few antenatal cases have been described with CDG. Due to a lack of reliable biomarker, prenatal CDG diagnostics relies primarily on molecular studies. In the presence of variants of uncertain significance prenatal glycosylation studies are very challenging.

Case report
A consanguineous couple had a history of second-trimester fetal demise with tetralogy of Fallot and skeletal dysplasia. In the consecutive pregnancy, the second trimester ultrasonography showed skeletal dysplasia, vermian hypoplasia, congenital heart defects, omphalocele and dysmorphic features. Prenatal chromosomal microarray revealed a large region of loss of heterozygosity. Demise occurred at 30 weeks. Fetal whole exome sequencing showed a novel homozygous likely pathogenic variant in ALG3 and a variant of uncertain significance in COG5.

Western blot was used to quantify ALG3, COG5, COG6, and the glycosylation markers ICAM-1 and LAMP2. RT-qPCR was used for ALG3 and COG5 expression in cultured amniocytes and compared to age matched controls.

ALG3 and COG5 mRNA levels were normal. ICAM-1, LAMP2, ALG3 and COG5 levels were decreased in cultured amniocytes, suggesting the possible involvement of both genes in the complex phenotype.

This is the first case of successful use of glycosylated biomarkers in amniocytes, providing further options of functional antenatal testing in CDG.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-429
JournalMolecular genetics and metabolism
Issue number4
Early online date7 Nov 2020
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020

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