22 research outputs found

    Cystathionine beta-synthase mutants exhibit changes in protein unfolding: conformational analysis of misfolded variants in crude cell extracts

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    Protein misfolding has been proposed to be a common pathogenic mechanism in many inborn errors of metabolism including cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) deficiency. In this work, we describe the structural properties of nine CBS mutants that represent a common molecular pathology in the CBS gene. Using thermolysin in two proteolytic techniques, we examined conformation of these mutants directly in crude cell extracts after expression in E. coli. Proteolysis with thermolysin under native conditions appeared to be a useful technique even for very unstable mutant proteins, whereas pulse proteolysis in a urea gradient had limited values for the study of the majority of CBS mutants due to their instability. Mutants in the active core had either slightly increased unfolding (p.A114V, p.E302K and p.G307S) or extensive unfolding with decreased stability (p.H65R, p.T191M, p.I278T and p.R369C). The extent of the unfolding inversely correlated with the previously determined degree of tetrameric assembly and with the catalytic activity. In contrast, mutants bearing aminoacid substitutions in the C-terminal regulatory domain (p.R439Q and p.D444N) had increased global stability with decreased flexibility. This study shows that proteolytic techniques can reveal conformational abnormalities even for CBS mutants that have activity and/or a degree of assembly similar to the wild-type enzyme. We present here a methodological strategy that may be used in cell lysates to evaluate properties of proteins that tend to misfold and aggregate and that may be important for conformational studies of disease-causing mutations in the field of inborn errors of metabolism

    The first knock-in rat model for glutaric aciduria type I allows further insights into pathophysiology in brain and periphery

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    Glutaric aciduria type I (GA-I, OMIM # 231670) is an inborn error of metabolism caused by a deficiency of glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH). Patients develop acute encephalopathic crises (AEC) with striatal injury most often triggered by catabolic stress. The pathophysiology of GA-I, particularly in brain, is still not fully understood. We generated the first knock-in rat model for GA-I by introduction of the mutation p.R411W, the rat sequence homologue of the most common Caucasian mutation p.R402W, into the Gcdh gene of Sprague Dawley rats by CRISPR/CAS9 technology. Homozygous Gcdhki/ki rats revealed a high excretor phenotype, but did not present any signs of AEC under normal diet (ND). Exposure to a high lysine diet (HLD, 4.7%) after weaning resulted in clinical and biochemical signs of AEC. A significant increase of plasmatic ammonium concentrations was found in Gcdhki/ki rats under HLD, accompanied by a decrease of urea concentrations and a concomitant increase of arginine excretion. This might indicate an inhibition of the urea cycle. Gcdhki/ki rats exposed to HLD showed highly diminished food intake resulting in severely decreased weight gain and moderate reduction of body mass index (BMI). This constellation suggests a loss of appetite. Under HLD, pipecolic acid increased significantly in cerebral and extra-cerebral liquids and tissues of Gcdhki/ki rats, but not in WT rats. It seems that Gcdhki/ki rats under HLD activate the pipecolate pathway for lysine degradation. Gcdhki/ki rat brains revealed depletion of free carnitine, microglial activation, astroglyosis, astrocytic death by apoptosis, increased vacuole numbers, impaired OXPHOS activities and neuronal damage. Under HLD, Gcdhki/ki rats showed imbalance of intra- and extracellular creatine concentrations and indirect signs of an intracerebral ammonium accumulation. We successfully created the first rat model for GA-I. Characterization of this Gcdhki/ki strain confirmed that it is a suitable model not only for the study of pathophysiological processes, but also for the development of new therapeutic interventions. We further brought up interesting new insights into the pathophysiology of GA-I in brain and periphery