Identification and in silico characterization of a novel compound heterozygosity associated with hereditary aceruloplasminemia.

Klinik für Innere Medizin II, Kirrbergerstrasse, Universitätsklinikum des Saarlandes, Homburg, Germany.
Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology (Impact Factor: 2.33). 10/2007; 42(9):1088-94. DOI: 10.1080/00365520701278810
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Hereditary aceruloplasminemia is an adult-onset autosomal recessive disease characterized by increased iron overload in the liver, pancreas, retina, and central nervous system. So far, 45 families with cases of aceruloplasminemia have been reported world-wide and mainly missense and nonsense mutations in the ceruloplasmin gene were detected.
Here, we report the identification, clinical characterization, and in silico analysis of a novel compound heterozygosity in the ceruloplasmin gene of a 31-year-old man with iron overload.
Increased serum ferritin levels, elevated iron saturation, as well as results of iron quantification in the liver and magnetic resonance imaging-based measurement of T2 relaxation times of the substantia nigra consistently suggested iron overload. By sequencing the ceruloplasmin gene, so far unknown nucleotide replacements G229C, and C2131A were detected in exons 2 and 12, respectively. In silico analyses showed that the resulting amino acid changes Asp58His and Gln692Lys are located at highly conserved positions. The Asp58His mutation is located on the surface of the protein, alters polarity, and may interfere with copper incorporation or ceruloplasmin trafficking. The Gln692Lys mutation is mapped to a beta-strand of domain 4 and may lead to conformational change of the cupredoxin fold.
As causative for aceruloplasminemia, a formerly unknown compound heterozygosity in the ceruloplasmin gene was identified. In silico characterization suggests an impact on ceruloplasmin conformation and function.

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    ABSTRACT: Safe trafficking of iron across the cell membrane is a delicate process that requires specific protein carriers. While many proteins involved in iron uptake by cells are known, only one cellular iron export protein has been identified in mammals: ferroportin (SLC40A1). Ceruloplasmin is a multicopper enzyme endowed with ferroxidase activity that is found as a soluble isoform in plasma or as a membrane-associated isoform in specific cell types. According to the currently accepted view, ferrous iron transported out of the cell by ferroportin would be safely oxidized by ceruloplasmin to facilitate loading on transferrin. Therefore, the ceruloplasmin-ferroportin system represents the main pathway for cellular iron egress and it is responsible for physiological regulation of cellular iron levels. The most recent findings regarding the structural and functional features of ceruloplasmin and ferroportin and their relationship will be described in this review.
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