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J Hum Genet. 2009 Sep;54(9):510-5. doi: 10.1038/jhg.2009.70. Epub 2009 Jul 31.

Structural bases of GM1 gangliosidosis and Morquio B disease.

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Agricultural Bioinformatics Research Unit, Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Allelic mutations of the lysosomal beta-galactosidase gene cause heterogeneous clinical phenotypes, such as GM1 gangliosidosis and Morquio B disease, the former being further classified into three variants, namely infantile, juvenile and adult forms; and heterogeneous biochemical phenotypes were shown in these forms. We tried to elucidate the bases of these diseases from a structural viewpoint. We first constructed a three-dimensional structural model of human beta-galactosidase by means of homology modeling. The human beta-galactosidase consists of three domains, such as, a TIM barrel fold domain, which functions as a catalytic domain, and two galactose-binding domain-like fold domains. We then constructed structural models of representative mutant beta-galactosidase proteins (G123R, R201C, I51T and Y83H) and predicted the structural change associated with each phenotype by calculating the number of affected atoms, determining the root-mean-square deviation and the solvent-accessible surface area, and by color imaging. The results show that there is a good correlation between the structural changes caused by amino-acid substitutions in the beta-galactosidase molecule, as well as biochemical and clinical phenotypes in these representative cases. Protein structural study is useful for elucidating the bases of these diseases.

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