Tiina J Kotti

University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, United States

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Publications (5)26.31 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Bile acids play multiple roles in the physiology of vertebrates; they facilitate lipid absorption, serve as signaling molecules to control carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and provide a disposal route for cholesterol. Unexpectedly, the α-methylacyl-CoA racemase (Amacr) deficient mice, which are unable to complete the peroxisomal cleavage of C27-precursors to the mature C24-bile acids, are physiologically asymptomatic when maintained on a standard laboratory diet. The aim of this study was to uncover the underlying adaptive mechanism with special reference to cholesterol and bile acid metabolisms that allow these mice to have a normal life span. Intestinal cholesterol absorption in Amacr-/- mice is decreased resulting in a 2-fold increase in daily cholesterol excretion. Also fecal excretion of bile acids (mainly C27-sterols) is enhanced 3-fold. However, the body cholesterol pool remains unchanged, although Amacr-deficiency accelerates hepatic sterol synthesis 5-fold. Changes in lipoprotein profiles are mainly due to decreased phospholipid transfer protein activity. Thus Amacr-deficient mice provide a unique example of metabolic regulation, which allows them to have a normal lifespan in spite of the disruption of a major metabolic pathway. This metabolic adjustment can be mainly explained by setting cholesterol and bile acid metabolism to a new balanced level in the Amacr-deficient mouse.
    Biochimica et Biophysica Acta 05/2013; · 4.66 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase (Amacr) catalyzes the racemization of alpha-methyl-branched CoA esters. Sequence comparisons have shown that this enzyme is a member of the family III CoA transferases. The mammalian Amacr is involved in bile acid synthesis and branched-chain fatty acid degradation. In human, mutated variants of Amacr have been shown to be associated with disease states. Amino acid sequence alignment of Amacrs and its homologues from various species revealed 26 conserved protic residues, assumed to be potential candidates as catalytic residues. Amacr from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MCR) was taken as a representative of the racemases. To determine their importance for efficient catalysis, each of these 26 protic residues of MCR was mutated into an alanine, respectively, and the mutated variants were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. It was found that four variants (R91A, H126A, D156A, and E241A) were properly folded but had much decreased catalytic efficiency. Apparently, Arg91, His126, Asp156, and Glu241 are important catalytic residues of MCR. The importance of these residues for catalysis can be rationalized by the 1.8 A resolution crystal structure of MCR, which shows that the catalytic site is at the interface between the large and small domain of two different subunits of the dimeric enzyme. This crystal structure is the first structure of a complete enzyme of the bile acid synthesis pathway. It shows that MCR has unique structural features, not seen in the structures of the sequence related formyl-CoA transferases, suggesting that the family III CoA transferases can be subdivided in at least two classes, being racemases and CoA transferases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 05/2005; 280(13):12611-20. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: α-Methylacyl-CoA racemase (Amacr) catalyzes the racemization of α-methyl-branched CoA esters. Sequence comparisons have shown that this enzyme is a member of the family III CoA transferases. The mammalian Amacr is involved in bile acid synthesis and branched-chain fatty acid degradation. In human, mutated variants of Amacr have been shown to be associated with disease states. Amino acid sequence alignment of Amacrs and its homologues from various species revealed 26 conserved protic residues, assumed to be potential candidates as catalytic residues. Amacr from Mycobacterium tuberculosis (MCR) was taken as a representative of the racemases. To determine their importance for efficient catalysis, each of these 26 protic residues of MCR was mutated into an alanine, respectively, and the mutated variants were overexpressed in Escherichia coli. It was found that four variants (R91A, H126A, D156A, and E241A) were properly folded but had much decreased catalytic efficiency. Apparently, Arg91, His126, Asp156, and Glu241 are important catalytic residues of MCR. The importance of these residues for catalysis can be rationalized by the 1.8 Å resolution crystal structure of MCR, which shows that the catalytic site is at the interface between the large and small domain of two different subunits of the dimeric enzyme. This crystal structure is the first structure of a complete enzyme of the bile acid synthesis pathway. It shows that MCR has unique structural features, not seen in the structures of the sequence related formyl-CoA transferases, suggesting that the family III CoA transferases can be subdivided in at least two classes, being racemases and CoA transferases.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 03/2005; 280(13):12611-12620. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: alpha-Methylacyl-CoA racemase (Amacr) deficiency in humans leads to sensory motor neuronal and liver abnormalities. The disorder is recessively inherited and caused by mutations in the AMACR gene, which encodes Amacr, an enzyme presumed to be essential for bile acid synthesis and to participate in the degradation of methyl-branched fatty acids. To generate a model to study the pathophysiology in Amacr deficiency we inactivated the mouse Amacr gene. As per human Amacr deficiency, the Amacr(-/-) mice showed accumulation (44-fold) of C27 bile acid precursors and decreased (over 50%) primary (C24) bile acids in bile, serum and liver, however the Amacr(-/-) mice were clinically symptomless. Real-time quantitative PCR analysis showed that, among other responses, the level of mRNA for peroxisomal multifunctional enzyme type 1 (pMFE-1) was increased 3-fold in Amacr(-/-) mice. This enzyme can be placed, together with CYP3A11 and CYP46A1, to make an Amacr-independent pathway for the generation of C24 bile acids. Exposure of Amacr(-/-) mice to a diet supplemented with phytol, a source for branched-chain fatty acids, triggered the development of a disease state with liver manifestations, redefining the physiological significance of Amacr. Amacr is indispensable for the detoxification of dietary methyl-branched lipids and, although it contributes normally to bile acid synthesis from cholesterol, the putative pMFE-1-mediated cholesterol degradation can provide for generation of bile acids, allowing survival without Amacr. Based upon our mouse model, we propose elimination of phytol from the diet of patients suffering from Amacr deficiency.
    Human Molecular Genetics 06/2004; 13(9):955-65. · 7.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: alpha-Methylacyl-CoA racemase, an enzyme of the bile acid biosynthesis and branched chain fatty acid degradation pathway, was studied at the protein, cDNA, and genomic levels in mouse liver. Immunoelectron microscopy and subcellular fractionation located racemase to mitochondria and peroxisomes. The enzymes were purified from both organelles with immunoaffinity chromatography. The isolated proteins were of the same size, with identical N-terminal amino acid sequences, and the existence of additional proteins with alpha-methylacyl-CoA racemase activity was excluded. A racemase gene of about 15 kilobases was isolated. Southern blot analysis and chromosomal localization showed that only one racemase gene is present, on chromosome 15, region 15B1. The putative initial ATG in the racemase gene was preceded by a functional promotor as shown with the luciferase reporter gene assay. The corresponding cDNAs were isolated from rat and mouse liver. The recombinant rat protein was overexpressed in active form in Pichia pastoris. The presented data suggest that the polypeptide encoded by the racemase gene can alternatively be targeted to peroxisomes or mitochondria without modifications. It is concluded that the noncleavable N-terminal sequence of the polypeptide acts as a weak mitochondrial and that the C-terminal sequence acts as a peroxisomal targeting signal.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2000; 275(27):20887-95. · 4.65 Impact Factor