Expression and In Vivo Rescue of Human ABCC6 Disease-Causing Mutants in Mouse Liver

Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, John A. Burns School of Medicine, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America.
PLoS ONE (Impact Factor: 3.23). 09/2011; 6(9):e24738. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024738
Source: PubMed


Loss-of-function mutations in ABCC6 can cause chronic or acute forms of dystrophic mineralization described in disease models such as pseudoxanthoma elasticum (OMIM 26480) in human and dystrophic cardiac calcification in mice. The ABCC6 protein is a large membrane-embedded organic anion transporter primarily found in the plasma membrane of hepatocytes. We have established a complex experimental strategy to determine the structural and functional consequences of disease-causing mutations in the human ABCC6. The major aim of our study was to identify mutants with preserved transport activity but failure in intracellular targeting. Five missense mutations were investigated: R1138Q, V1298F, R1314W, G1321S and R1339C. Using in vitro assays, we have identified two variants; R1138Q and R1314W that retained significant transport activity. All mutants were transiently expressed in vivo, in mouse liver via hydrodynamic tail vein injections. The inactive V1298F was the only mutant that showed normal cellular localization in liver hepatocytes while the other mutants showed mostly intracellular accumulation indicating abnormal trafficking. As both R1138Q and R1314W displayed endoplasmic reticulum localization, we tested whether 4-phenylbutyrate (4-PBA), a drug approved for clinical use, could restore their intracellular trafficking to the plasma membrane in MDCKII and mouse liver. The cellular localization of R1314W was significantly improved by 4-PBA treatment, thus potentially rescuing its physiological function. Our work demonstrates the feasibility of the in vivo rescue of cellular maturation of some ABCC6 mutants in physiological conditions very similar to the biology of the fully differentiated human liver and could have future human therapeutic application.

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    • "However, no correlations between ABCC6 protein expression and genotypes were described in cells derived from PXE patients, so far. Furthermore, different protein trafficking and cellular accumulation was previously shown for different ABCC6 mutants, especially missense variants, which may also be the case in PXE fibroblasts [33]. However, this is the first study which shows protein detection of ABCC6 in fibroblasts by Western Blot, confirming previously described ABCC6 expression in dermal fibroblasts by immunofluorescence [34]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the ABC transporter ABCC6 were recently identified as cause of Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), a rare genetic disorder characterized by progressive mineralization of elastic fibers. We used an untargeted metabolic approach to identify biochemical differences between human dermal fibroblasts from healthy controls and PXE patients in an attempt to find a link between ABCC6 deficiency, cellular metabolic alterations and disease pathogenesis. 358 compounds were identified by mass spectrometry covering lipids, amino acids, peptides, carbohydrates, nucleotides, vitamins and cofactors, xenobiotics and energy metabolites. We found substantial differences in glycerophospholipid composition, leucine dipeptides, and polypeptides as well as alterations in pantothenate and guanine metabolism to be significantly associated with PXE pathogenesis. These findings can be linked to extracellular matrix remodeling and increased oxidative stress, which reflect characteristic hallmarks of PXE. Our study could facilitate a better understanding of biochemical pathways involved in soft tissue mineralization.
    Full-text · Article · Sep 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "An additional advantage of P-gp is the presence of complex ligands in inward facing conformation, which can provide information about the substrate binding sites (SBS) in ABCC6. It has been previously shown that TMD0 and L0 are responsible for the membrane localization as N-terminal truncated ABCC6 mutants missing both transmembrane (TMD0) and cytoplasmic linker (L0) domains were found to be absent from the plasma membrane [3]. There is however no evidence of TMD0 being related to substrate binding. "
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    ABSTRACT: The human ATP-binding cassette family C member 6 (ABCC6) gene encodes an ABC transporter protein (ABCC6), primarily expressed in liver and kidney. Mutations in the ABCC6 gene cause pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), an autosomal recessive connective tissue disease characterized by ectopic mineralization of the elastic fibers. The pathophysiology underlying PXE is incompletely understood, which can at least partly be explained by the undetermined nature of the ABCC6 substrates as well as the unknown substrate recognition and binding sites. Several compounds, including anionic glutathione conjugates (N-ethylmaleimide; NEM-GS) and leukotriene C4 (LTC4) were shown to be modestly transported in vitro; conversely, vitamin K3 (VK3) was demonstrated not to be transported by ABCC6. To predict the possible substrate binding pockets of the ABCC6 transporter, we generated a 3D homology model of ABCC6 in both open and closed conformation, qualified for molecular docking and virtual screening approaches. By docking 10 reported in vitro substrates in our ABCC6 3D homology models, we were able to predict the substrate binding residues of ABCC6. Further, virtual screening of 4651 metabolites from the Human Serum Metabolome Database against our open conformation model disclosed possible substrates for ABCC6, which are mostly lipid and biliary secretion compounds, some of which are found to be involved in mineralization. Docking of these possible substrates in the closed conformation model also showed high affinity. Virtual screening expands this possibility to explore more compounds that can interact with ABCC6, and may aid in understanding the mechanisms leading to PXE.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Previous reports of wildtype ABCC6 trafficking indicate the ABCC6 protein is targeted to the basolateral membrane. [41] Consistent with this, the wildtype ABCC6 showed preferential targeting to the basolateral membrane in the MDCK cells (Figure 1G). Polarization of the MDCK monolayer was confirmed by staining with ZO1. "
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in the ABCC6 ABC-transporter are causative of pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE). The loss of functional ABCC6 protein in the basolateral membrane of the kidney and liver is putatively associated with altered secretion of a circulatory factor. As a result, systemic changes in elastic tissues are caused by progressive mineralization and degradation of elastic fibers. Premature arteriosclerosis, loss of skin and vascular tone, and a progressive loss of vision result from this ectopic mineralization. However, the identity of the circulatory factor and the specific role of ABCC6 in disease pathophysiology are not known. Though recessive loss-of-function alleles are associated with alterations in ABCC6 expression and function, the molecular pathologies associated with the majority of PXE-causing mutations are also not known. Sequence analysis of orthologous ABCC6 proteins indicates the C-terminal sequences are highly conserved and share high similarity to the PDZ sequences found in other ABCC subfamily members. Genetic testing of PXE patients suggests that at least one disease-causing mutation is located in a PDZ-like sequence at the extreme C-terminus of the ABCC6 protein. To evaluate the role of this C-terminal sequence in the biosynthesis and trafficking of ABCC6, a series of mutations were utilized to probe changes in ABCC6 biosynthesis, membrane stability and turnover. Removal of this PDZ-like sequence resulted in decreased steady-state ABCC6 levels, decreased cell surface expression and stability, and mislocalization of the ABCC6 protein in polarized cells. These data suggest that the conserved, PDZ-like sequence promotes the proper biosynthesis and trafficking of the ABCC6 protein.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · PLoS ONE
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