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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter January 13, 2020

Presentation of 14 alkaptonuria patients from Turkey

  • Alper Ilker Akbaba EMAIL logo , Rıza Köksal Ozgül and Ali Dursun



Alkaptonuria (OMIM: 203500) is an inborn error of metabolism due to homogentisate 1,2-dioxygenase homogentisic acid 1,2 dioxygenase (HGD) enzyme deficiency. Due to the enzyme deficiency, homogentisic acid cannot be converted to maleylacetoacetate and it accumulates in body fluids. Increased homogentisic acid is converted to benzoquinones, the resulting benzoquinones are converted to melanin-like pigments, and these pigments are deposited in collagen – this process is called ochronosis. In patients with alkaptonuria, the urine is darkened, which is misinterpreted as hematuria, the incidences of renal stones, arthritis and cardiac valve calcification are increased, and spontaneous tendon ruptures, prostatitis and prostate stones can be encountered. The present study aimed to evaluate the HGD gene mutations in 14 patients with alkaptonuria.


Fourteen patients diagnosed with alkaptonuria and followed up from 1990 to 2014 were retrospectively evaluated. Their demographic, clinical and treatment-related data were retrieved from hospital files. For mutation analysis, genomic DNAs of the patients were isolated from their peripheral blood samples. Variations in the HGD gene were scanned on the HGD-mutation database (


Among 14 patients, the female/male ratio was 1/1 and the median age was 9 years (range, 6–59 years). All patients were symptomatic at their first visit and the most common symptom was dark urine (71%) followed by arthralgia. Independent of the urinary homogentisic acid concentrations, patients with the presenting symptom of arthralgia were elder. Nine different mutations including p.Ser59AlafsX52, p.Gly161Arg, p.Asn219Ser, p.Gly251Asp, p.Pro274Leu, p.Arg330Ser, p.Gly372Ala, c.656_657insAATCAA and a novel mutation of p.Val316Ile were detected. All of the pediatric-age patients (n = 13) were treated with ascorbic acid at a dose of 250–1000 mg/day.


Nine different HGD gene mutations with a novel one, p.Val316Ile, were detected. The most common mutation was p.Ser59AlafsX52 for the HGD gene followed by p.Gly161Arg and p.asn219Ser, which can be considered specific to the Turkish population.


We would like to thank Esin Göksun from the Department of Pediatric Metabolism and the members of the DNA Bank at Hacettepe University for the biobanking assistance. We are grateful to the patients and their families for their collaboration.

  1. Author contributions: All the authors have accepted responsibility for the entire content of this submitted manuscript and approved submission.

  2. Research funding: This work was funded by the grant from the State Planning Organization of Turkey (Project number: DPT2006K1206400603, Funder Id:

  3. Employment or leadership: None declared.

  4. Honorarium: None declared.

  5. Competing interests: The funding organization(s) played no role in the study design; in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; in the writing of the report; or in the decision to submit the report for publication.


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Received: 2019-04-03
Accepted: 2019-11-19
Published Online: 2020-01-13
Published in Print: 2020-02-25

©2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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