Author(s): Thom NH, Leadlay PF
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Abstract Point mutations in the human gene encoding coenzyme B12 (adenosylcobalamin)-dependent methylmalonyl-CoA mutase give rise to an inherited disorder of propionic acid metabolism termed mut methylmalonic aciduria. Almost all such mutations alter amino acids in the homodimeric human enzyme that are identical to residues in the catalytic alpha-subunit of the heterodimeric methylmalonyl-CoA mutase from the bacterium Propionibacterium shermanii, to which the mature human enzyme shows an overall 65\% sequence identity. To explore how specific mutations might cause the observed clinical phenotype, 12 known mutations were mapped onto a three-dimensional homology model of the subunit of the human enzyme, generated using the program MODELLER on the basis of the recently published 2.0 A X-ray crystal structure of the P. shermanii methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Eight mutations are found in the C-terminal B12-binding domain, of which 4 (G623R, G626C, G630E, G703R) are in direct contact with the corrin and are clustered around the histidine ligand (H627) provided by the protein to coordinate the cobalt atom of the B12 cofactor. Introduction of a side chain, particularly one that is charged, at any of these positions is expected to disrupt the flavodoxin-like fold and severely impair its binding of B12. Mutation at either of two other highly conserved glycine residues in this domain (G648D, G717V) also disrupts critical elements in the fold as would the introduction of an additional positive charge in the mutation H678R. Mutation of an arginine in a solvent-exposed loop to a hydrophobic residue (R694W) is also pathogenic. The remaining mutations have been mapped to the N-terminal region of the mutase, two of which introduce a buried, uncompensated charge, either near the subunit interface (A377E), or near the narrow channel through which acyl-CoA esters gain access to the active site (W105R). The extreme N-terminus of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase is predicted to make extensive contacts with the other subunit, and a mutant in this region (R93H) may prevent the correct assembly of the dimer.
This article was published in Protein Sci
and referenced in Journal of Pharmacogenomics & Pharmacoproteomics