Biochemical abnormalities were studied in two brothers with bladder divericulas, inguinal hernias, slight skin laxity, and hyperelasticity and skeletal abnormalities including occipital exostoses. Lysyl oxidase activity was low in the medium of cultured skin fibroblasts, this abnormality being accompanied by reduced conversion of the newly synthesized collagen into the soluble form. Copper concentrations were markedly elevated in the cultured skin fibroblasts, but decreased in the serum and hair. Serum cerulophasmin levels were also low. The reduced lysyl oxidase activity is suggested to be responsible for ther clinical manifestations, but the deficiency in this copper-dependent enzyme may be secondary to the abnormalities in the metabolism of the cation. Nevertheless, a mutation directly affecting both lysyl oxidase and an intracellular copper transport protein cannot be excluded. The disease is tentatively classified as one subtype of the Ehlers-Danlos syndrome.
H Kuivaniemi, L Peltonen, A Palotie, I Kaitila, K I Kivirikko