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J Biol Chem. 2006 Jan 6;281(1):107-14. Epub 2005 Nov 3.

Biochemical properties of human pantothenate kinase 2 isoforms and mutations linked to pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee 38105-2794, USA.


The PANK2 gene encodes the human pantothenate kinase 2 protein isoforms, and PANK2 mutations are linked to pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration. Two PanK2 protein forms are proteolytically processed to form a mitochondrially localized, mature PanK2. Another isoform arose from a proposed initiation at a leucine codon and was not processed further. The fifth isoform was postulated to arise from an alternative splicing event and was found to encode an inactive protein. Fourteen mutant PanK2 proteins with single amino acid substitutions, associated with either early or late onset disease, were evaluated for activity. The PanK2(G521R), the most frequent mutation in pantothenate kinase-associated neurodegeneration, was devoid of activity and did not fold properly. However, nine of the mutant proteins associated with disease possessed catalytic activities that were indistinguishable from wild type, including the frequently encountered PanK2(T528M) missense mutation. PanK2 was extremely sensitive to feedback inhibition by CoA thioesters (IC50 values between 250 and 500 nM), and the regulation of the active PanK2 mutants was comparable with that of the wild-type protein. Coexpression of the PanK2(G521R) and wild-type PanK2 did not interfere with wild-type enzyme activity, arguing against a dominant negative effect of the PanK2(G521R) mutation in heterozygous patients. These data described the unique biochemical features of the PanK2 isoforms and suggested that catalytic defects may not be the sole cause for the neurodegenerative phenotype.

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