Development of a Tandem Mass Spectrometry Method for Rapid Measurement of Medium- and Very-Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase Activity in Fibroblasts.
ABSTRACT: Mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation is a vital biochemical process for energy metabolism. Among the known fatty-acid metabolism disorders, very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency count among the most frequent. Both are potentially very serious diseases as they carry a risk of severe neurological post-crisis sequelae, and even sudden death. Diagnosis relies on plasma acylcarnitine profile analysis and urine organic acid analysis, followed by genetic testing to confirm diagnosis. However, in some cases, it is crucial to run a specific diagnostic assay for enzyme activity, which is generally performed in leukocytes or fibroblasts. The aim of this study was to address this need, first by developing a MCAD and VLCAD enzyme activity-specific diagnostic assay in fibroblasts (by measuring the reaction products, i.e. enoyl-CoA) via a rapid LC-MS/MS-based technique, and then by testing MCAD-deficient patients (n = 6), VLCAD-deficient patients (n = 10), and control patients (n = 12). MCAD activity was significantly different in the MCAD-deficiency (MCADD) group (mean = 0.07 nmol C8:1 formed/min/mg protein) compared to the control group (mean = 0.36 nmol C8:1 formed/min/mg protein). All MCADD patients showed less than 35% residual MCAD activity. VLCAD activity was significantly decreased in the VLCADD group (mean = 0.06 nmol C16:1 formed/min/mg protein) compared to the control group (mean = 0.86 nmol C16:1 formed/min/mg protein, respectively). All VLCADD patients showed less than 35% residual VLCAD activity. This technique allowed also to confirm that a novel ACADVL gene mutation (c.1400T>C) is responsible for a defective VLCAD activity (residual activity at 10%).
Project description:Very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD)-deficiency is the most common long-chain fatty acid oxidation disorder presenting with heterogeneous phenotypes. Similar to many patients with VLCADD, VLCAD-deficient mice (VLCAD(-/-)) remain asymptomatic over a long period of time. In order to identify the involved compensatory mechanisms, wild-type and VLCAD(-/-) mice were fed one year either with a normal diet or with a diet in which medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) replaced long-chain triglycerides, as approved intervention in VLCADD. The expression of the mitochondrial long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (LCAD) and medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) was quantified at mRNA and protein level in heart, liver and skeletal muscle. The oxidation capacity of the different tissues was measured by LC-MS/MS using acyl-CoA substrates with a chain length of 8 to 20 carbons. Moreover, in white skeletal muscle the role of glycolysis and concomitant muscle fibre adaptation was investigated. In one year old VLCAD(-/-) mice MCAD and LCAD play an important role in order to compensate deficiency of VLCAD especially in the heart and in the liver. However, the white gastrocnemius muscle develops alternative compensatory mechanism based on a different substrate selection and increased glucose oxidation. Finally, the application of an MCT diet over one year has no effects on LCAD or MCAD expression. MCT results in the VLCAD(-/-) mice only in a very modest improvement of medium-chain acyl-CoA oxidation capacity restricted to cardiac tissue. In conclusion, VLCAD(-/-) mice develop tissue-specific strategies to compensate deficiency of VLCAD either by induction of other mitochondrial acyl-CoA dehydrogenases or by enhancement of glucose oxidation. In the muscle, there is evidence of a muscle fibre type adaptation with a predominance of glycolytic muscle fibres. Dietary modification as represented by an MCT-diet does not improve these strategies long-term.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency (VLCADD) is diagnosed in the US through newborn screening (NBS). NBS often unequivocally identifies affected individuals, but a growing number of variant patterns can represent mild disease or heterozygous carriers.<h4>Aims</h4>To evaluate the validity of standard diagnostic procedures for VLCADD by using functional in vitro tools.<h4>Methods</h4>We retrospectively investigated 13 patient samples referred to our laboratory because of a suspicion of VLCADD but with some uncertainty to the diagnosis. All 13 patients were suspected of having VLCADD either because of abnormal NBS or suggestive clinical findings. ACADVL genomic DNA sequencing data were available for twelve of them. Ten of the patients had an abnormal NBS suggestive of VLCADD, with three samples showing equivocal results. Three exhibited suggestive clinical findings and blood acylcarnitine profile (two of them had a normal NBS and the third one was unscreened). Assay of VLCAD activity and immunoblotting or immunohistologic staining for VLCAD were performed on fibroblasts. Prokaryotic mutagenesis and expression studies were performed for nine uncharacterized ACADVL missense mutations.<h4>Results</h4>VLCAD activity was abnormal in fibroblast cells from 9 patients (8 identified through abnormal NBS, 1 through clinical symptoms). For these 9 patients, immunoblotting/staining showed the variable presence of VLCAD; all but one had two mutated alleles. Two patients with equivocal NBS results (and a heterozygous genotype) and the two patients with normal NBS exhibited normal VLCAD activity and normal VLCAD protein on immunoblotting/staining thus ruling out VLCAD deficiency. Nine pathogenic missense mutations were characterized with prokaryotic expression studies and showed a decrease in enzyme activity and variable stability of VLCAD antigen.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results emphasize the importance of functional investigation of abnormal NBS or clinical testing suggestive but not diagnostic of VLCADD. A larger prospective study is necessary to better define the clinical and metabolic ramifications of the defects identified in such patients.
Project description:Very-long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) is a member of the family of acyl-CoA dehydrogenases (ACADs). Unlike the other ACADs, which are soluble homotetramers, VLCAD is a homodimer associated with the mitochondrial membrane. VLCAD also possesses an additional 180 residues in the C terminus that are not present in the other ACADs. We have determined the crystal structure of VLCAD complexed with myristoyl-CoA, obtained by co-crystallization, to 1.91-A resolution. The overall fold of the N-terminal approximately 400 residues of VLCAD is similar to that of the soluble ACADs including medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD). The novel C-terminal domain forms an alpha-helical bundle that is positioned perpendicular to the two N-terminal helical domains. The fatty acyl moiety of the bound substrate/product is deeply imbedded inside the protein; however, the adenosine pyrophosphate portion of the C14-CoA ligand is disordered because of partial hydrolysis of the thioester bond and high mobility of the CoA moiety. The location of Glu-422 with respect to the C2-C3 of the bound ligand and FAD confirms Glu-422 to be the catalytic base. In MCAD, Gln-95 and Glu-99 form the base of the substrate binding cavity. In VLCAD, these residues are glycines (Gly-175 and Gly-178), allowing the binding channel to extend for an additional 12A and permitting substrate acyl chain lengths as long as 24 carbons to bind. VLCAD deficiency is among the more common defects of mitochondrial beta-oxidation and, if left undiagnosed, can be fatal. This structure allows us to gain insight into how a variant VLCAD genotype results in a clinical phenotype.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency is the most common inherited disorder of the mitochondrial fatty acid oxidation, caused by mutations in the ACADM gene. Since the introduction of neonatal screening for MCAD deficiency, a subgroup of newborns have been identified with variant ACADM genotypes that had never been identified before in clinically ascertained patients. In vitro residual MCAD enzyme activity has been found to facilitate risk-stratification. In this study we integrated results of in vitro (residual MCAD enzyme activities) and in vivo (clinical fasting tolerance tests, and phenylpropionic acid loading tests) tests in this subgroup of newborns, defining the consequences of variant ACADM genotypes. METHODS: Enzyme analyses were performed in leukocytes with: hexanoyl-CoA (C6-CoA) +/- butyryl-CoA (C4-CoA), and phenylpropionyl-CoA (PP-CoA). In vitro studies were performed in 9 subjects with variant ACADM genotypes, in vivo functional tests in 6 of these subjects. RESULTS: Enzyme analyses with C6-CoA, C6-CoA + C4-CoA, and PP-CoA identified significantly higher residual MCAD enzyme activities in subjects with variant ACADM genotypes when compared to patients with classical ACADM genotypes.After prolonged fasting (range 15-18.5 hours) no hypoglycaemia was observed. Increasing concentrations of free fatty acids indicated lipolysis, and ketone body concentrations were sufficient for blood glucose concentrations in 5 out of 6 subjects. Phenylpropionic acid loading clearly demonstrated in vivo residual MCAD enzyme activity in all studied subjects. CONCLUSIONS: Subjects with variant ACADM genotypes and residual MCAD enzyme activities >10% display residual MCAD enzyme activities in vitro and in vivo. Our findings support the hypothesis that the guidelines on maximal duration of fasting might be abandoned in subjects with residual MCAD enzyme activities >10% under normal conditions. An emergency regimen and parental instructions remain necessary in all subjects with MCAD deficiency, regardless of residual MCAD enzyme activity.
Project description:Medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) is an autosomal recessive disorder that leads to a defect in fatty acid oxidation. ACADM is the only candidate gene causing MCAD deficiency. A single nucleotide change, c.985A>G, occurring at exon 11 of the ACADM gene, is the most prevalent mutation. In this study, we report a Caucasian family with multiple MCADD individuals. DNA sequence analysis of the ACADM gene performed in this family revealed that two family members showing mild MCADD symptoms share the same novel change in exon 11, c.1052C>T, resulting in a threonine-to-isoleucine change. The replacement is a nonconservative amino acid change that occurs in the C-terminal all-alpha domain of the MCAD protein. Here we report the finding of a novel missense mutation, c.1052C>T (p.Thr326Ile), in the ACADM gene. To our knowledge, c.1052C>T has not been previously reported in the literature or in any of the current databases we utilize. We hypothesize that this particular mutation in combination with p.Lys304Glu results in an intermediate clinical phenotype of MCADD.
Project description:Very-Long-Chain Acyl-CoA Dehydrogenase deficiency (VLCADD) is an autosomal recessive disorder considered as one of the more common ss-oxidation defects, possibly associated with neonatal cardiomyopathy, infantile hepatic coma, or adult-onset myopathy. Numerous gene missense mutations have been described in these VLCADD phenotypes, but only few of them have been structurally and functionally analyzed, and the molecular basis of disease variability is still poorly understood. To address this question, we first analyzed fourteen disease-causing amino acid changes using the recently described crystal structure of VLCAD. The predicted effects varied from the replacement of amino acid residues lining the substrate binding cavity, involved in holoenzyme-FAD interactions or in enzyme dimerisation, predicted to have severe functional consequences, up to amino acid substitutions outside key enzyme domains or lying on near enzyme surface, with predicted milder consequences. These data were combined with functional analysis of residual fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and VLCAD protein levels in patient cells harboring these mutations, before and after pharmacological stimulation by bezafibrate. Mutations identified as detrimental to the protein structure in the 3-D model were generally associated to profound FAO and VLCAD protein deficiencies in the patient cells, however, some mutations affecting FAD binding or monomer-monomer interactions allowed a partial response to bezafibrate. On the other hand, bezafibrate restored near-normal FAO rates in some mutations predicted to have milder consequences on enzyme structure. Overall, combination of structural, biochemical, and pharmacological analysis allowed assessment of the relative severity of individual mutations, with possible applications for disease management and therapeutic approach.
Project description:Very-long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency (VLCADD) is an autosomal recessive disorder of fatty acid oxidation. Fatty acids are a major source of energy during catabolic stress, so the absence of VLCAD can result in a metabolic crises and respiratory insufficiency. The etiology of this respiratory insufficiency is unclear. Thus, our aims were: (1) to characterize respiratory pathophysiology in VLCADD mice (VLCAD-/- ), and (2) to determine if AAV9-mediated gene therapy improves respiratory function. For the first aim, VLCAD-/- and wild-type (WT) mice underwent an exercise/fast "stress protocol" and awake spontaneous breathing was evaluated using whole-body plethysmography (WBP) both at baseline and during a hypercapnic respiratory challenge (FiO2 : 0.21; FiCO2 : 0.07; nitrogen balance). During hypercapnia, VLCAD -/- mice had a significantly lower frequency, tidal volume, minute ventilation, and peak inspiratory and expiratory flow, all of which indicate respiratory insufficiency. Histologically, the cardiac and respiratory muscles of stressed VLCAD -/- animals had an accumulation of intramyocellular lipids. For the second aim, a single systemic injection of AAV9-VLCAD gene therapy improved this respiratory pathology by normalizing breathing frequency and enhancing peak inspiratory flow. In addition, following gene therapy, there was a moderate reduction of lipid accumulation in the respiratory muscles. Furthermore, VLCAD protein expression was robust in cardiac and respiratory muscle. This was confirmed by immuno-staining with anti-human VLCAD antibody. In summary, stress with exercise and fasting induces respiratory insufficiency in VLCAD-/- mice and a single injection with AAV9-VLCAD gene therapy ameliorates breathing.
Project description:Some success in identifying acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (ACAD) deficiencies before they are symptomatic has been achieved through tandem mass spectrometry. However, there has been several challenges that need to be confronted, including excess false positives, the occasional false negatives and indicators selection. To select ideal indicators and evaluate their performance for identifying ACAD deficiencies, data from 352,119 newborn babies, containing 20 cases, were used in this retrospective study. A total of three new ratios, C4/C5DC+C6-OH, C8/C14:1, and C14:1/C16-OH, were selected from 43 metabolites. Around 903 ratios derived from pairwise combinations of all metabolites via multivariate logistic regression analysis were used. In the current study, the regression analysis was performed to identify short chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (SCAD) deficiency, medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency, and very long chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (VLCAD) deficiency. In both model-building and testing data, the C4/C5DC+C6-OH, C8/C14:1 and C14:1/C16-OH were found to be better indicators for SCAD, MCAD and VLCAD deficiencies, respectively, compared to [C4, (C4, C4/C2)], [C8, (C6, C8, C8/C2, C4DC+C5-OH/C8:1)], and [C14:1, (C14:1, C14:1/C16, C14:1/C2)], respectively. In addition, 22 mutations, including 5 novel mutations and 17 reported mutations, in ACADS, ACADM, and ACADL genes were detected in 20 infants with ACAD deficiency by using high-thorough sequencing based on target capture. The pathogenic mutations of c.1031A > G in ACADS, c.449_452delCTGA in ACADM and c.1349G > A in ACADL were found to be hot spots in Suzhou patients with SCAD, MCAD, and VLCAD, respectively. In conclusion, we had identified three new ratios that could improve the performance for ACAD deficiencies compared to the used indicators. We considered to utilize C4/C5DC+C6-OH, C8/C14:1, and C14:1/C16-OH as primary indicators for SCAD, MCAD, and VLCAD deficiency, respectively, in further expanded newborn screening practice. In addition, the spectrum of mutations in Suzhou population enriches genetic data of Chinese patients with one of ACAD deficiencies.
Project description:The implementation of expanded newborn screening programs reduced mortality and morbidity in medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) caused by mutations in the ACADM gene. However, the disease is still potentially fatal. Missense induced MCADD is a protein misfolding disease with a molecular loss-of-function phenotype. Here we established a comprehensive experimental setup to analyze the structural consequences of eight ACADM missense mutations (p.Ala52Val, p.Tyr67His, p.Tyr158His, p.Arg206Cys, p.Asp266Gly, p.Lys329Glu, p.Arg334Lys, p.Arg413Ser) identified after newborn screening and linked the corresponding protein misfolding phenotype to the site of side-chain replacement with respect to the domain. With fever being the crucial risk factor for metabolic decompensation of patients with MCADD, special emphasis was put on the analysis of structural and functional derangements related to thermal stress. Based on protein conformation, thermal stability and kinetic stability, the molecular phenotype in MCADD depends on the structural region that is affected by missense-induced conformational changes with the central ?-domain being particularly prone to structural derangement and destabilization. Since systematic classification of conformational derangements induced by ACADM mutations may be a helpful tool in assessing the clinical risk of patients, we scored the misfolding phenotype of the variants in comparison to p.Lys329Glu (K304E), the classical severe mutation, and p.Tyr67His (Y42H), discussed to be mild. Experiments assessing the impact of thermal stress revealed that mutations in the ACADM gene lower the temperature threshold at which MCAD loss-of-function occurs. Consequently, increased temperature as it occurs during intercurrent infections, significantly increases the risk of further conformational derangement and loss of function of the MCAD enzyme explaining the life-threatening clinical courses observed during fever episodes. Early and aggressive antipyretic treatment thus may be life-saving in patients suffering from MCADD.
Project description:Newborn screening (NBS) for medium-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency (MCADD) revealed a higher birth prevalence and genotypic variability than previously estimated, including numerous novel missense mutations in the ACADM gene. On average, these mutations are associated with milder biochemical phenotypes raising the question about their pathogenic relevance. In this study, we analyzed the impact of 10 ACADM mutations identified in NBS (A27V, Y42H, Y133H, R181C, R223G, D241G, K304E, R309K, I331T and R388S) on conformation, stability and enzyme kinetics of the corresponding proteins. Partial to total rescue of aggregation by co-overexpression of GroESL indicated protein misfolding. This was confirmed by accelerated thermal unfolding in all variants, as well as decreased proteolytic stability and accelerated thermal inactivation in most variants. Catalytic function varied from high residual activity to markedly decreased activity or substrate affinity. Mutations mapping to the beta-domain of the protein predisposed to severe destabilization. In silico structural analyses of the affected amino acid residues revealed involvement in functionally relevant networks. Taken together, our results substantiate the hypothesis of protein misfolding with loss-of-function being the common molecular basis in MCADD. Moreover, considerable structural alterations in all analyzed variants do not support the view that novel mutations found in NBS bear a lower risk of metabolic decompensation than that associated with mutations detected in clinically ascertained patients. Finally, the detailed insight into how ACADM missense mutations induce loss of MCAD function may provide guidance for risk assessment and counseling of patients, and in future may assist delineation of novel pharmacological strategies.