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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Sep 1;106(35):14820-4. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0902377106. Epub 2009 Aug 17.

Mental retardation linked to mutations in the HSD17B10 gene interfering with neurosteroid and isoleucine metabolism.

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  • 1Department of Neurochemistry, New York State Institute for Basic Research in Developmental Disabilities, Staten Island, NY 10314, USA.


Mutations in the HSD17B10 gene were identified in two previously described mentally retarded males. A point mutation c.776G>C was found from a survivor (SV), whereas a potent mutation, c.419C>T, was identified in another deceased case (SF) with undetectable hydroxysteroid (17beta) dehydrogenase 10 (HSD10) activity. Protein levels of mutant HSD10(R130C) in patient SF and HSD10(E249Q) in patient SV were about half that of HSD10 in normal controls. The E249Q mutation appears to affect HSD10 subunit interactions, resulting in an allosteric regulatory enzyme. For catalyzing the oxidation of allopregnanolone by NAD+ the Hill coefficient of the mutant enzyme is approximately 1.3. HSD10(E249Q) was unable to catalyze the dehydrogenation of 2-methyl-3-hydroxybutyryl-CoA and the oxidation of allopregnanolone, a positive modulator of the gamma-aminobutyric acid type A receptor, at low substrate concentrations. Neurosteroid homeostasis is critical for normal cognitive development, and there is increasing evidence that a blockade of isoleucine catabolism alone does not commonly cause developmental disabilities. The results support the theory that an imbalance in neurosteroid metabolism could be a major cause of the neurological handicap associated with hydroxysteroid (17beta) dehydrogenase 10 deficiency.

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