Mutations in the UBIAD1 gene, encoding a potential prenyltransferase, are causal for Schnyder crystalline corneal dystrophy.

Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.53). 02/2007; 2(8):e685. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0000685
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Schnyder crystalline corneal dystrophy (SCCD, MIM 121800) is a rare autosomal dominant disease characterized by progressive opacification of the cornea resulting from the local accumulation of lipids, and associated in some cases with systemic dyslipidemia. Although previous studies of the genetics of SCCD have localized the defective gene to a 1.58 Mbp interval on chromosome 1p, exhaustive sequencing of positional candidate genes has thus far failed to reveal causal mutations. We have ascertained a large multigenerational family in Nova Scotia affected with SCCD in which we have confirmed linkage to the same general area of chromosome 1. Intensive fine mapping in our family revealed a 1.3 Mbp candidate interval overlapping that previously reported. Sequencing of genes in our interval led to the identification of five putative causal mutations in gene UBIAD1, in our family as well as in four other small families of various geographic origins. UBIAD1 encodes a potential prenyltransferase, and is reported to interact physically with apolipoprotein E. UBIAD1 may play a direct role in intracellular cholesterol biochemistry, or may prenylate other proteins regulating cholesterol transport and storage.

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    ABSTRACT: Membrane-embedded prenyltransferases from the UbiA family catalyze the Mg2+-dependent transfer of a hydrophobic polyprenyl chain onto a variety of acceptor molecules and are involved in the synthesis of molecules that mediate electron transport, including Vitamin K and Coenzyme Q. In humans, missense mutations to the protein UbiA prenyltransferase domain-containing 1 (UBIAD1) are responsible for Schnyder crystalline corneal dystrophy, which is a genetic disease that causes blindness. Mechanistic understanding of this family of enzymes has been hampered by a lack of three-dimensional structures. We have solved structures of a UBIAD1 homolog from Archaeoglobus fulgidus, AfUbiA, in an unliganded form and bound to Mg2+ and two different isoprenyl diphosphates. Functional assays on MenA, a UbiA family member from E. coli, verified the importance of residues involved in Mg2+ and substrate binding. The structural and functional studies led us to propose a mechanism for the prenyl transfer reaction. Disease-causing mutations in UBIAD1 are clustered around the active site in AfUbiA, suggesting the mechanism of catalysis is conserved between the two homologs.
    PLoS biology. 07/2014; 12(7):e1001911.
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    ABSTRACT: Heterozygous mutations in the UBIAD1 gene cause Schnyder corneal dystrophy characterized by abnormal cholesterol and phospholipid deposits in the cornea. Ubiad1 protein was recently identified as Golgi prenyltransferase responsible for biosynthesis of vitamin K2 and CoQ10, a key protein in the mitochondrial electron transport chain. Our study shows that silencing UBIAD1 in cultured human hepatocellular carcinoma cells causes dramatic morphological changes and cholesterol storage in the mitochondria, emphasizing an important role of UBIAD1 in mitochondrial function.
    Molecular Genetics and Metabolism Reports. 01/2014; 1:407–411.
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    ABSTRACT: UbiA prenyltransferase domain containing 1 (UBIAD1) is a novel vitamin K2 biosynthetic enzyme screened and identified from the human genome database. UBIAD1 has recently been shown to catalyse the biosynthesis of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) in zebrafish and human cells. To investigate the function of UBIAD1 in vivo, we attempted to generate mice lacking Ubiad1, a homolog of human UBIAD1, by gene targeting. Ubiad1-deficient (Ubiad1-/-) mouse embryos failed to survive beyond embryonic day 7.5, exhibiting small-sized body and gastrulation arrest. Ubiad1-/- embryonic stem (ES) cells failed to synthesize vitamin K2 but were able to synthesize CoQ9, similar to wild-type ES cells. Ubiad1+/- mice developed normally, exhibiting normal growth and fertility. Vitamin K2 tissue levels and synthesis activity were approximately half of those in the wild-type, whereas CoQ9 tissue levels and synthesis activity were similar to those in the wild-type. Similarly, UBIAD1 expression and vitamin K2 synthesis activity of mouse embryonic fibroblasts prepared from Ubiad1+/- E15.5 embryos were approximately half of those in the wild-type, whereas CoQ9 levels and synthesis activity were similar to those in the wild-type. Ubiad1-/- mouse embryos failed to be rescued, but their embryonic lifespans were extended to term by oral administration of MK-4 or CoQ10 to pregnant Ubiad1+/- mice. These results suggest that UBIAD1 is responsible for vitamin K2 synthesis but may not be responsible for CoQ9 synthesis in mice. We propose that UBIAD1 plays a pivotal role in embryonic development by synthesizing vitamin K2, but may have additional functions beyond the biosynthesis of vitamin K2.
    PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104078. · 3.53 Impact Factor

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