Biotinidase deficiency is an inherited disorder in which the body is not able to process the vitamin biotin properly. Biotin, sometimes called vitamin H, is an important water-soluble vitamin that aids in the metabolism of fats, carbohydrates and proteins. more...
Approximately 1 in 60,000 newborns are affected by profound (less than 10 percent of normal enzyme activity) or partial (10-30 percent of normal enzyme activity) biotinidase deficiency.
Mutations in the BTD gene cause biotinidase deficiency. Biotinidase is the enzyme that is made by the BTD gene. Many mutations that cause the enzyme to be nonfunctional or to be made at extremely low levels have been identified. Biotin is a vitamin that is chemically bound to proteins. (Most vitamins are only loosely associated with proteins.) Without biotinidase activity, the vitamin biotin cannot be separated from foods and therefore cannot be used by the body. Another function of the biotinidase enzyme is to recycle biotin from enzymes that are important in metabolism (processing of substances in cells). When biotin is lacking, specific enzymes called carboxylases cannot process proteins, fats, or carbohydrates. Individuals lacking biotinidase activity can still have normal carboxylases if they ingest small amounts of biotin.
This condition is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means two copies of the gene in each cell must be altered for a person to be affected by the disorder. Most often, the parents of a child with an autosomal recessive disorder are not affected but are carriers of one copy of the altered gene.
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