Research & Faculty

Default Header Image

A homology model for human alpha-L-iduronidase: Insights into human disease

TitleA homology model for human alpha-L-iduronidase: Insights into human disease
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsRempel, BP, Clarke, LA, Withers, SG
Date PublishedMAY

Genotype-phenotype correlations in genetic diseases for which missense mutations lead to disease remain a challenge. This is particularly true for diseases caused by alterations of proteins for which no three-dimensional structure is available. One such disease is Mucopolysaccharidosis type 1, a disorder arising from a lack of activity of the lysosomal enzyme (α-L-iduronidase (IDUA, EC This deficiency compromises the degradation pathway of glycosaminoglycans such as heparan sulfate and dermatan sulfate, leading to substrate accumulation, which ultimately results in a multisystem disorder. Patients with IDUA deficiency have a wide spectrum of disease ranging from an early onset, rapidly progressive form leading to death in the first decade of life, to an attenuated disease which manifests in adolescence and leads to:progressive joint and cardiac disease but is associated with a normal life span. Many patients fit into a disease phenotype intermediate to these extremes. While a number of point mutations have been described as leading to varying degrees of disease severity, a structural basis for these genotype-phenotype correlations has not been available owing to the lack of a three-dimensional structure for IDUA. A homology model for the IDUA enzyme was constructed based on the recently solved crystal structure of the β-xylosidase from Thermoanaerobacterium saccharolyticum (XyTS, EC 3.2,1.37), both of which belong to the same sequence-related family (CAZY family 39). This model provides insights into why certain point mutations produce severely misfolded proteins and thus lead to severe disease, and why other mutations produce proteins with only minor structural perturbations and therefore the attenuated form of the disease. © 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.