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Jank, Johanna M.; Maier, Esther M.; Reiss, Dunja D.; Haslbeck, Martin; Kemter, Kristina F.; Truger, Marietta S.; Sommerhoff, Christian P.; Ferdinandusse, Sacha; Wanders, Ronald J.; Gersting, Soren W. and Muntau, Ania C. (2014): The Domain-Specific and Temperature-Dependent Protein Misfolding Phenotype of Variant Medium-Chain acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase.
In: PLOS ONE 9(4), e93852 [PDF, 1MB]

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The implementation of expanded newborn screening programs reduced mortality and morbidity in medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) caused by mutations in the ACADM gene. However, the disease is still potentially fatal. Missense induced MCADD is a protein misfolding disease with a molecular loss-of-function phenotype. Here we established a comprehensive experimental setup to analyze the structural consequences of eight ACADM missense mutations (p. Ala52Val, p. Tyr67His, p. Tyr158His, p. Arg206Cys, p. Asp266Gly, p. Lys329Glu, p. Arg334Lys, p. Arg413Ser) identified after newborn screening and linked the corresponding protein misfolding phenotype to the site of side-chain replacement with respect to the domain. With fever being the crucial risk factor for metabolic decompensation of patients with MCADD, special emphasis was put on the analysis of structural and functional derangements related to thermal stress. Based on protein conformation, thermal stability and kinetic stability, the molecular phenotype in MCADD depends on the structural region that is affected by missense-induced conformational changes with the central beta-domain being particularly prone to structural derangement and destabilization. Since systematic classification of conformational derangements induced by ACADM mutations may be a helpful tool in assessing the clinical risk of patients, we scored the misfolding phenotype of the variants in comparison to p. Lys329Glu (K304E),the classical severe mutation, and p. Tyr67His (Y42H),discussed to be mild. Experiments assessing the impact of thermal stress revealed that mutations in the ACADM gene lower the temperature threshold at which MCAD loss-of-function occurs. Consequently, increased temperature as it occurs during intercurrent infections, significantly increases the risk of further conformational derangement and loss of function of the MCAD enzyme explaining the life-threatening clinical courses observed during fever episodes. Early and aggressive antipyretic treatment thus may be life-saving in patients suffering from MCADD.

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