β-Ureidopropionase deficiency due to novel and rare UPB1 mutations affecting pre-mRNA splicing and protein structural integrity and catalytic activity

Doreen Dobritzsch, Judith Meijer, Rutger Meinsma, Dirk Maurer, Ardeshir A. Monavari, Anders Gummesson, Annika Reims, Jorge A. Cayuela, Natalia Kuklina, Jean François Benoist, Laurence Perrin, Birgit Assmann, Georg F. Hoffmann, Jörgen Bierau, Angela M. Kaindl, André B.P. van Kuilenburg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

β-Ureidopropionase is the third enzyme of the pyrimidine degradation pathway and catalyses the conversion of N-carbamyl-β-alanine and N-carbamyl-β-aminoisobutyric acid to β-alanine and β-aminoisobutyric acid, ammonia and CO2. To date, only a limited number of genetically confirmed patients with a complete β-ureidopropionase deficiency have been reported. Here, we report on the clinical, biochemical and molecular findings of 10 newly identified β-ureidopropionase deficient individuals. Patients presented mainly with neurological abnormalities and markedly elevated levels of N-carbamyl-β-alanine and N-carbamyl-β-aminoisobutyric acid in urine. Analysis of UPB1, encoding β-ureidopropionase, showed 5 novel missense variants and two novel splice-site variants. Functional expression of the UPB1 variants in mammalian cells showed that recombinant ß-ureidopropionase carrying the p.Ala120Ser, p.Thr129Met, p.Ser300Leu and p.Asn345Ile variant yielded no or significantly decreased β-ureidopropionase activity. Analysis of the crystal structure of human ß-ureidopropionase indicated that the point mutations affect substrate binding or prevent the proper subunit association to larger oligomers and thus a fully functional β-ureidopropionase. A minigene approach showed that the intronic variants c.[364 + 6 T > G] and c.[916 + 1_916 + 2dup] led to skipping of exon 3 and 8, respectively, in the process of UPB1 pre-mRNA splicing. The c.[899C > T] (p.Ser300Leu) variant was identified in two unrelated Swedish β-ureidopropionase patients, indicating that β-ureidopropionase deficiency may be more common than anticipated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-185
Number of pages9
JournalMolecular Genetics and Metabolism
Volume136
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Bernhard Lohkamp for stimulating discussions.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors

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