Background: Crigler–Najjar syndrome type I (CN-1) and type II (CN-2) are rare hereditary unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia disorders. However, there have been no reports regarding the co-existence of CN-1 and CN-2 in one family. We experienced a case of an Iranian family that included members with either CN-1 or CN-2. Genetic analysis revealed a mutation in the bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT1A1) gene that resulted in residual enzymatic activity.
Case report: The female proband developed severe hyperbilirubinemia [total serum bilirubin concentration (TB) = 34.8 mg/dL] with bilirubin encephalopathy (kernicterus) and died after liver transplantation. Her family history included a cousin with kernicterus (TB = 30.0 mg/dL) diagnosed as CN-1. Her great grandfather (TB unknown) and uncle (TB = 23.0 mg/dL) developed jaundice, but without any treatment, they remained healthy as CN-2.

Results: The affected cousin was homozygous for a novel frameshift mutation (c.381insGG, p.C127WfsX23). The affected uncle was compound heterozygous for p.C127WfsX23 and p.V225G linked with A(TA)7TAA. p.V225G-UGT1A1 reduced glucuronidation activity to 60% of wild-type. Thus, linkage of A(TA)7TAA and p.V225G might reduce UGT1A1 activity to 18%–36 % of the wild-type.

Conclusion: Genetic and in vitro expression analyses are useful for accurate genetic counseling for a family with a history of both CN-1 and CN-2.

Abbreviations: CN-1: Crigler–Najjar syndrome type I; CN-2: Crigler–Najjar syndrome type II; GS: Gilbert syndrome; UGT1A1: bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase; WT: Wild type; TB: total serum bilirubin.


Crigler–Najjar syndrome, Gilbert syndrome, bilirubin UDP-glucuronosyltransferase, UGT1A1