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J Hum Genet. 2007;52(11):898-906. Epub 2007 Sep 6.

Structural and biochemical studies on Pompe disease and a "pseudodeficiency of acid alpha-glucosidase".

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Department of Clinical Genetics, The Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Medical Science, Tokyo Metropolitan Organization for Medical Research, Tokyo, Japan.


We constructed structural models of the catalytic domain and the surrounding region of human wild-type acid alpha-glucosidase and the enzyme with amino acid substitutions by means of homology modeling, and examined whether the amino acid replacements caused structural and biochemical changes in the enzyme proteins. Missense mutations including p.R600C, p.S619R and p.R437C are predicted to cause apparent structural changes. Nonsense mutation of p.C103X terminates the translation of acid alpha-glucosidase halfway through its biosynthesis and is deduced not to allow formation of the active site pocket. The mutant proteins resulting from these missense and nonsense mutations found in patients with Pompe disease are predictably unstable and degraded quickly in cells. The structural change caused by p.G576S is predicted to be small, and cells from a subject homozygous for this amino acid substitution exhibited 15 and 11% of the normal enzyme activity levels for an artificial substrate and glycogen, respectively, and corresponding amounts of the enzyme protein on Western blotting. No accumulation of glycogen was found in organs including skeletal muscle in the subject, and thus the residual enzyme activity could protect cells from glycogen storage. On the other hand, p.E689K, which is known as a neutral polymorphism, little affected the three-dimensional structure of acid alpha-glucosidase. Structural study on a mutant acid alpha-glucosidase in silico combined with biochemical investigation is useful for understanding the molecular pathology of Pompe disease.

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