Marit Nyholm Nielsen

Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Central Jutland, Denmark

Are you Marit Nyholm Nielsen?

Claim your profile

Publications (10)36.11 Total impact

  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A patient with suspected glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA-1) was detected by newborn screening. GA-1 is known as an autosomal recessively inherited disease due to defects in the gene coding for glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase (GCDH), a mitochondrial enzyme involved in the catabolism of the amino acids hydroxylysine, lysine and tryptophan. DNA and cDNA sequencing revealed a 18 bp deletion (c.553_570del18) resulting in deletion of six amino acids (p.Gly185_Ser190del) in one allele and no sequence changes in the other allele. Confirmatory biochemical analysis of blood, urine and cultured fibroblasts from the proband were consistent with a mild biochemical GA-1 phenotype. Recombinant expression of the mutant variant in E. coli showed that the GCDH-(p.Gly185_Ser190del) protein displayed severely decreased assembly into tetramers and enzyme activity. To discover a potential dominant negative effect of the mutant protein, we engineered a prokaryotic expression system in which expression of a wild type and a mutant GCDH allele is controlled by separately inducible promoters. These cells displayed decreased levels of GCDH tetramer and enzyme activity when expressing both the wild type and the mutant GCDH variant protein compared to the situation when only the wild type allele was expressed. Further experiments suggest that the major impact of the GCDH-(p.Gly185_Ser190del) protein in heterozygous cells consists of hampering the assembly of wild type GCDH into tetramers. Our experimental data are consistent with the hypothesis that heterozygosity for this mutation confers a dominant negative effect resulting in a GCDH enzyme activity that is significantly lower than the expected 50%.
    Journal of Inherited Metabolic Disease 01/2012; 35(5):787-96. · 4.07 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial Hsp60 chaperonin plays an important role in sustaining cellular viability. Its dysfunction is related to inherited forms of the human diseases spastic paraplegia and hypomyelinating leukodystrophy. However, it is unknown whether the requirement for Hsp60 is neuron specific or whether a complete loss of the protein will impair mammalian development and postnatal survival. In this study, we describe the generation and characterization of a mutant mouse line bearing an inactivating gene-trap insertion in the Hspd1 gene encoding Hsp60. We found that heterozygous mice were born at the expected ratio compared to wild-type mice and displayed no obvious phenotype deficits. Using quantitative reverse transcription PCR, we found significantly decreased levels of the Hspd1 transcript in all of the tissues examined, demonstrating that the inactivation of the Hspd1 gene is efficient. By Western blot analysis, we found that the amount of Hsp60 protein, compared to either cytosolic tubulin or mitochondrial voltage-dependent anion-selective channel protein 1/porin, was decreased as well. The expression of the nearby Hspe1 gene, which encodes the Hsp10 co-chaperonin, was concomitantly down regulated in the liver, and the protein levels in all tissues except the brain were reduced. Homozygous Hspd1 mutant embryos, however, died shortly after implantation (day 6.5 to 7.5 of gestation, Theiler stages 9–10). Our results demonstrate that Hspd1 is an essential gene for early embryonic development in mice, while reducing the amount of Hsp60 by inactivation of one allele of the gene is compatible with survival to term as well as postnatal life.
    Cell Stress and Chaperones 11/2010; 15(6):851-63. · 2.48 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The mitochondrial chaperonin heat shock protein 60 (Hsp60) assists the folding of a subset of proteins localized in mitochondria and is an essential component of the mitochondrial protein quality control system. Mutations in the HSPD1 gene that encodes Hsp60 have been identified in patients with an autosomal dominant form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (SPG13), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by a progressive paraparesis of the lower limbs. The disease-associated Hsp60-(p.Val98Ile) protein, encoded by the c.292G>A HSPD1 allele, has reduced chaperonin activity, but how its expression affects mitochondrial functions has not been investigated. We have studied mitochondrial function and expression of genes encoding mitochondrial chaperones and proteases in a human lymphoblastoid cell line and fibroblast cells from a patient who is heterozygous for the c.292G>A HSPD1 allele. We found that both the c.292G>A RNA transcript and the corresponding Hsp60-(p.Val98Ile) protein were present at comparable levels to their wild-type counterparts in SPG13 patient cells. Compared with control cells, we found no significant cellular or mitochondrial dysfunctions in SPG13 patient cells by assessing the mitochondrial membrane potential, cell viability, and sensitivity toward oxidative stress. However, a decreased expression of the mitochondrial protein quality control proteases Lon and ClpP, both at the RNA and protein level, was demonstrated in SPG13 patient cells. We propose that decreased levels of mitochondrial proteases Lon and ClpP may allow Hsp60 substrate proteins to go through more folding attempts instead of being prematurely degraded, thereby supporting productive folding in cells with reduced Hsp60 chaperonin activity. In conclusion, our studies with SPG13 patient cells expressing the functionally impaired mutant Hsp60 chaperonin suggest that reduction of the degradative activity of the protein quality control system may represent a previously unrecognized cellular adaptation to reduced chaperone function.
    Neuroscience 06/2008; 153(2):474-82. · 3.12 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: We have previously reported the association of a mutation (c.292G > A/p.V98I) in the human HSPD1 gene that encodes the mitochondrial Hsp60 chaperonin with a dominantly inherited form of hereditary spastic paraplegia. Here, we show that the purified Hsp60-(p.V98I) chaperonin displays decreased ATPase activity and exhibits a strongly reduced capacity to promote folding of denatured malate dehydrogenase in vitro. To test its in vivo functions, we engineered a bacterial model system that lacks the endogenous chaperonin genes and harbors two plasmids carrying differentially inducible operons with human Hsp10 and wild-type Hsp60 or Hsp10 and Hsp60-(p.V98I), respectively. Ten hours after shutdown of the wild-type chaperonin operon and induction of the Hsp60-(p.V98I)/Hsp10 mutant operon, bacterial cell growth was strongly inhibited. No globally increased protein aggregation was observed, and microarray analyses showed that a number of genes involved in metabolic pathways, some of which are essential for robust aerobic growth, were strongly up-regulated in Hsp60-(p.V98I)-expressing bacteria, suggesting that the growth arrest was caused by defective folding of some essential proteins. Co-expression of Hsp60-(p.V98I) and wild-type Hsp60 exerted a dominant negative effect only when the chaperonin genes were expressed at relatively low levels. Based on our in vivo and in vitro data, we propose that the major effect of heterozygosity for the Hsp60-(p.V98I) mutation is a moderately decreased activity of chaperonin complexes composed of mixed wild-type and Hsp60-(p.V98I) mutant subunits.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 06/2008; 283(23):15694-700. · 4.65 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A mutation in the HSPD1 gene has previously been associated with an autosomal dominant form of spastic paraplegia in a French family. HSPD1 encodes heat shock protein 60, a molecular chaperone involved in folding and quality control of mitochondrial proteins. In the present work we have investigated 23 Danish index patients with hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) for mutations in the HSPD1 gene. One patient was found to be heterozygous for a c.1381C > G missense mutation encoding the mutant heat shock protein 60 p.Gln461Glu. The mutation was also present in two unaffected brothers, but absent in 400 unrelated Danish individuals. We found that the function of the p.Gln461Glu heat shock protein 60 was mildly compromised. The c.1381C > G mutation likely represents a novel low-penetrance HSP allele.
    Journal of Neurology 08/2007; 254(7):897-900. · 3.58 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular chaperones assist protein folding, and variations in their encoding genes may be disease-causing in themselves or influence the phenotypic expression of disease-associated or susceptibility-conferring variations in many different genes. We have screened three candidate patient groups for variations in the HSPD1 and HSPE1 genes encoding the mitochondrial Hsp60/Hsp10 chaperone complex: two patients with multiple mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, 61 sudden infant death syndrome cases (MIM: #272120), and 60 patients presenting with ethylmalonic aciduria carrying non-synonymous susceptibility variations in the ACADS gene (MIM: *606885 and #201470). Besides previously reported variations we detected six novel variations: two in the bidirectional promoter region, and one synonymous and three non-synonymous variations in the HSPD1 coding region. One of the non-synonymous variations was polymorphic in patient and control samples, and the rare variations were each only found in single patients and absent in 100 control chromosomes. Functional investigation of the effects of the variations in the promoter region and the non-synonymous variations in the coding region indicated that none of them had a significant impact. Taken together, our data argue against the notion that the chaperonin genes play a major role in the investigated diseases. However, the described variations may represent genetic modifiers with subtle effects.
    Journal of Human Genetics 02/2007; 52(1):56-65. · 2.37 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Molecular chaperones assist protein folding, and variations in their encoding genes may be disease-causing in themselves or influence the phenotypic expression of disease-associated or susceptibility-conferring variations in many different genes. We have screened three candidate patient groups for variations in the HSPD1 and HSPE1 genes encoding the mitochondrial Hsp60/Hsp10 chaperone complex: two patients with multiple mitochondrial enzyme deficiency, 61 sudden infant death syndrome cases (MIM: #272120), and 60 patients presenting with ethylmalonic aciduria carrying non-synonymous susceptibility variations in the ACADS gene (MIM: *606885 and #201470). Besides previously reported variations we detected six novel variations: two in the bidirectional promoter region, and one synonymous and three non-synonymous variations in the HSPD1 coding region. One of the non-synonymous variations was polymorphic in patient and control samples, and the rare variations were each only found in single patients and absent in 100 control chromosomes. Functional investigation of the effects of the variations in the promoter region and the non-synonymous variations in the coding region indicated that none of them had a significant impact. Taken together, our data argue against the notion that the chaperonin genes play a major role in the investigated diseases. However, the described variations may represent genetic modifiers with subtle effects
    J.Hum.Genet. 01/2007; 52(1).
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60 and its co-chaperonin Hsp10 have received great attention in the last decade, and it has been proposed that mutations and variations in these genes may be implicated in genetic diseases, the genome structure of the human HSP60 and HSP10 genes (also known as HSPD1 and HSPE1, respectively) has not been firmly established. The picture has been confused by the presence of many pseudogenes of both HSP60 and HSP10 and the long surviving assumption that the HSP60 gene is intron-less. An earlier report on the partial sequence of the human HSP60 gene and the presence of introns has largely been overlooked. We present the full sequence of the human HSP60 and HSP10 genes. The two genes are linked head to head comprising approximately 17 kb and consist of 12 and 4 exons, respectively. The first exon of the human HSP60 gene is non-coding and the first exon of the human HSP10 gene ends with the start codon. Analysis of human and mouse expressed sequence tag sequences in GenBank indicates that alternative splicing occurs resulting in HSP60 gene transcripts with different exon-1 sequences. By sequencing of the exons, the exon/intron boundaries and the region between the two genes in 10 Danish individuals (five couples), nine nucleotide variations and one intronic deletion have been detected that, by subsequent typing of one child from each couple, have been assigned to five haplotypes. The human HSP60 gene has been localised, by radiation hybrid mapping, between markers AFMA121YH1 and WI-10756 on chromosome 2. This location and the position of two homologous fragments in the Human Genome Assembly are consistent with cytogenetic position 2q33.1. Using a luciferase-reporter assay, we demonstrate that the region between the two genes functions as a bi-directional promoter. The transcriptional activity of the promoter fragment in the HSP60 direction is approximately twice that in the HSP10 direction under normal growth conditions and, upon heat-shock, promoter activity in either direction increased by a factor of approximately 12. One of the nucleotide variations detected is localised in a putative SP1-transcription-factor-binding site in the bidirectional promoter region and analysis of the transcriptional activity of the promoter fragment with this variation has shown that it does not affect transcription levels both with and without heat-shock.
    Human Genetics 02/2003; 112(1):71-7. · 4.63 Impact Factor
  • [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Although the mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60 and its co-chaperonin Hsp10 have experienced great attention in the last decade, and it has been proposed that mutations and variations in these genes may be implicated in genetic diseases, the genome structure of the human
    Hum.Genet. 01/2003; 112(1).
  • Source
    [show abstract] [hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: SPG13, an autosomal dominant form of pure hereditary spastic paraplegia, was recently mapped to chromosome 2q24-34 in a French family. Here we present genetic data indicating that SPG13 is associated with a mutation, in the gene encoding the human mitochondrial chaperonin Hsp60, that results in the V72I substitution. A complementation assay showed that wild-type HSP60 (also known as "HSPD1"), but not HSP60 (V72I), together with the co-chaperonin HSP10 (also known as "HSPE1"), can support growth of Escherichia coli cells in which the homologous chromosomal groESgroEL chaperonin genes have been deleted. Taken together, our data strongly indicate that the V72I variation is the first disease-causing mutation that has been identified in HSP60.
    The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2002; 70(5):1328-32. · 11.20 Impact Factor