Five novel mutations in the lysosomal sialidase gene (NEU1) in type II sialidosis patients and assessment of their impact on enzyme activity and intracellular targeting using adenovirus-mediated expression
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Sialidosis is an autosomal recessive disease resulting from a deficiency of lysosomal sialidase. Type II sialidosis is a rare disease characterized clinically by hydrops fetalis, hepatosplenomegaly, and severe psychomotor retardation. Genomic DNA from four unrelated sialidosis patients was screened for mutations within the sialidase gene NEU1. Five novel mutations were identified. Four are missense and one is nonsense: c.674G>C (p.R225P), c.893C>T (p.A298V), c.3G>A (p.M1?), c.941C>G (p.R341G), and c.69G>A (p.W23X). We have used our findings and diagnostic tools to confirm the presence of a homozygous null allele in a neonate sibling. Recombinant adenoviruses expressing the mutant sialidase alleles in primary cell cultures were utilized to assess the impact of each mutation on enzyme activity and intracellular localization. None of the mutant alleles expressed significant enzymatic activity. The p.R341G mutation exerts its pathological effect by perturbing substrate binding, while the p.A298V and p.R225P mutations appear to impair the folding of the sialidase enzyme. Our findings point to mutation-sensitive amino acids involved in catalytic function or structural stability and indicate the potential utility of these mutations for molecular diagnosis of this rare disease.
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