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J Inherit Metab Dis. 2013 Sep;36(5):821-30. doi: 10.1007/s10545-012-9543-5. Epub 2012 Oct 3.

Prediction of the functional effect of novel SLC25A13 variants using a S. cerevisiae model of AGC2 deficiency.

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Graduate Program in Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Science, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand.


AGC2, a member of the mitochondrial carrier protein family, is as an aspartate-glutamate carrier and is important for urea synthesis and the maintenance of the malate-aspartate shuttle. Mutations in SLC25A13, the gene encoding AGC2, result in two age dependent disorders: neonatal intrahepatic cholestasis caused by citrin deficiency (NICCD) and type II citrullinemia (CTLN2). The clinical features of CTLN2 are very similar to those of other urea cycle disorders making a clear diagnosis difficult. Analysis of the SLC25A13 gene sequence can provide a definitive diagnosis, however the predictive value of DNA sequencing requires that the disease association of variants be characterized. We utilized the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae lacking AGC1 as a model system to study the effect on the function of AGC2 variants and confirmed that this system is capable of distinguishing between AGC2 variants with normal (p.Pro632Leu) or impaired function (p.Gly437Glu, p.Gly531Asp, p.Thr546Met, p.Leu598Arg and p.Glu601Lys). Three novel AGC2 genetic variants, p.Met1? (c.2T>C), p.Pro502Leu (c.1505C>T), and p.Arg605Gln (c.1814G>A) were investigated and our analysis revealed that p.Pro502Leu and p.Arg605Gln substitutions in the AGC2 protein were without effect and these variants were fully functional. The p.Met1? mutant is capable of expressing a truncated p.Met1_Phe34del AGC2 variant, however this protein is not functional due to disruptions in a calcium binding EF hand as well as incorrect intracellular localization. Our study demonstrates that the characterization of AGC2 expressed in yeast cells is a powerful technique to investigate AGC2 variants, and this analysis should aid in establishing the disease association of novel variants.

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