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J Biol Chem. 2012 Aug 17;287(34):28943-55. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.306423. Epub 2012 Jun 27.

X-linked sideroblastic anemia due to carboxyl-terminal ALAS2 mutations that cause loss of binding to the β-subunit of succinyl-CoA synthetase (SUCLA2).

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  • 1Department of Genetics and Genomic Sciences, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Mutations in the erythroid-specific aminolevulinic acid synthase gene (ALAS2) cause X-linked sideroblastic anemia (XLSA) by reducing mitochondrial enzymatic activity. Surprisingly, a patient with the classic XLSA phenotype had a novel exon 11 mutation encoding a recombinant enzyme (p.Met567Val) with normal activity, kinetics, and stability. Similarly, both an expressed adjacent XLSA mutation, p.Ser568Gly, and a mutation (p.Phe557Ter) lacking the 31 carboxyl-terminal residues also had normal or enhanced activity, kinetics, and stability. Because ALAS2 binds to the β subunit of succinyl-CoA synthetase (SUCLA2), the mutant proteins were tested for their ability to bind to this protein. Wild type ALAS2 bound strongly to a SUCLA2 affinity column, but the adjacent XLSA mutant enzymes and the truncated mutant did not bind. In contrast, vitamin B6-responsive XLSA mutations p.Arg452Cys and p.Arg452His, with normal in vitro enzyme activity and stability, did not interfere with binding to SUCLA2 but instead had loss of positive cooperativity for succinyl-CoA binding, an increased K(m) for succinyl-CoA, and reduced vitamin B6 affinity. Consistent with the association of SUCLA2 binding with in vivo ALAS2 activity, the p.Met567GlufsX2 mutant protein that causes X-linked protoporphyria bound strongly to SUCLA2, highlighting the probable role of an ALAS2-succinyl-CoA synthetase complex in the regulation of erythroid heme biosynthesis.

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