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J Biochem. 1998 May;123(5):968-77.

Defective intracellular transport of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase with an Ala162-->Thr mutation associated with lethal hypophosphatasia.

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Department of Biochemistry Fukuoka University School of Medicine, Fukuoka 814-0180, Japan.


We have studied the biosynthesis and intracellular transport of tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNSALP) transiently expressed in COS-1 cells. Mutations were introduced into TNSALP to examine the effects of a single amino acid substitution on the activity and biosynthesis of TNSALP. The cells expressing wild-type TNSALP exhibited more than 200-fold higher alkaline phosphatase activity than untransfected ones. Pulse-chase experiments showed that TNSALP was synthesized as a 66-kDa endoglucosaminidase H (Endo H)-sensitive form and converted to EndoH-resistant forms with heterogenous molecular masses ( approximately 80 kDa), which finally appeared on the cell surface as judged by digestion with phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC). In contrast, a TNSALP with a Glu218-->Gly mutation exhibited no phosphatase activity at all and the 66-kDa Endo H-sensitive form was the only molecular species throughout the chase in the transfected cells. In accordance with this finding, digestion with PI-PLC and immunofluorescence observation confirmed that this mutant was never expressed on the cell surface. Another mutant with a Ala162-->Thr substitution, which naturally occurs in association with a lethal hypophosphatasia, exhibited a low activity and only a small fraction of the 66-kDa form acquired Endo-H resistance and reached the cell surface. Since the wild-type and the mutant TNSALPs were labeled with [3H]ethanolamine, a component of glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI), it is unlikely that the impaired intracellular transport of the two mutants is due to a failure in their modification by GPI. Interestingly, the 66-kDa Endo H-sensitive form of the TNSALP mutants but not that of the wild-type, was found to form an interchain disulfide-bonded high-molecular-mass aggregate within the cells. These results suggest that impaired intracellular transport of the TNSALP (Ala162-->Thr) molecule caused by its aggregation is the molecular basis for the lethal hypophosphatasia carrying this mutation.

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