Aromatic amino acid or Dopa decarboxylase (AADC or DDC) is a homodimeric pyridoxal 5’‐phosphate (PLP) enzyme responsible for the generation of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. AADC deficiency is a rare inborn disease caused by mutations of the AADC gene leading to a defect of AADC enzyme and resulting in impaired dopamine and serotonin synthesis. Until now, only the molecular effects of homozygous mutations were analyzed. However, although heterozygous carriers of AADC deficiency were identified, the molecular aspects of their enzymatic phenotypes are not yet investigated. Here, we focus our attention on the R347Q/R358H and R347Q/R160W heterozygous mutations, and report for the first time the isolation and characterization, in the purified recombinant form, of the R347Q/R358H heterodimer and of the R358H homodimer. The results, integrated with those already known of the R347Q homodimeric variant, provide evidence that (i) the R358H mutation strongly reduces the PLP‐binding affinity and the catalytic activity, and (ii) a positive interallelic complementation exists between the R347Q and the R358H mutations. Bioinformatics analyses provide the structural basis for these data. Unfortunately, the R347Q/R160W heterodimer was not obtained in a sufficient amount to allow its purification and characterization. Nevertheless, the biochemical features of the R160W homodimer give a contribution to the enzymatic phenotype of the heterozygous R347Q/R160W and suggest the possible relevance of Arg160 in the proper folding of human DDC. © 2018 IUBMB Life, 70(3):215–223, 2018
IUBMB Life – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2018
Keywords: ; ; ; ; ;
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