Neonatal gene transfer leads to widespread correction of pathology in a murine model of lysosomal storage disease.
For many inborn errors of metabolism, early treatment is critical to prevent long-term developmental sequelae. We have used a gene-therapy approach to demonstrate this concept in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type VII (MPS VII). Newborn MPS VII mice received a single intravenous injection with 5.4 x 10(6) infectious units of recombinant adeno-associated virus encoding the human beta-glucuronidase (GUSB) cDNA. Therapeutic levels of GUSB expression were achieved by 1 week of age in liver, heart, lung, spleen, kidney, brain, and retina. GUSB expression persisted in most organs for the 16-week duration of the study at levels sufficient to either reduce or prevent completely lysosomal storage. Of particular significance, neurons, microglia, and meninges of the central nervous system were virtually cleared of disease. In addition, neonatal treatment of MPS VII mice provided access to the central nervous system via an intravenous route, avoiding a more invasive procedure later in life. These data suggest that gene transfer mediated by adeno-associated virus can achieve therapeutically relevant levels of enzyme very early in life and that the rapid growth and differentiation of tissues does not limit long-term expression. (+info)
Transport of organic anions by the lysosomal sialic acid transporter: a functional approach towards the gene for sialic acid storage disease.
Transport of sialic acid through the lysosomal membrane is defective in the human sialic acid storage disease. The mammalian sialic acid carrier has a wide substrate specificity for acidic monosaccharides. Recently, we showed that also non-sugar monocarboxylates like L-lactate are substrates for the carrier. Here we report that other organic anions, which are substrates for carriers belonging to several anion transporter families, are recognized by the sialic acid transporter. Hence, the mammalian system reveals once more novel aspects of solute transport, including sugars and a wide array of non-sugar compounds, apparently unique to this system. These data suggest that the search for the sialic acid storage disease gene can be initiated by a functional selection of genes from a limited number of anion transporter families. Among these, candidates will be identified by mapping to the known sialic acid storage disease locus. (+info)
Brain involvement in Salla disease.
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Our purpose was to document the nature and progression of brain abnormalities in Salla disease, a lysosomal storage disorder, with MR imaging. METHODS: Fifteen patients aged 1 month to 43 years underwent 26 brain MR examinations. In 10 examinations, signal intensity was measured and compared with that of healthy volunteers of comparable ages. RESULTS: MR images of a 1-month-old asymptomatic child showed no pathology. In all other patients, abnormal signal intensity was found: on T2-weighted images, the cerebral white matter had a higher signal intensity than the gray matter, except in the internal capsules. In six patients, the white matter was homogeneous on all images. In four patients, the periventricular white matter showed a somewhat lower signal intensity; in five patients, a higher signal intensity. In the peripheral cerebral white matter, the measured signal intensity remained at a high level throughout life. No abnormalities were seen in the cerebellar white matter. Atrophic changes, if present, were relatively mild but were found even in the cerebellum and brain stem. The corpus callosum was always thin. CONCLUSION: In Salla disease, the cerebral myelination process is defective. In some patients, a centrifugally progressive destructive process is also seen in the cerebral white matter. Better myelination in seen in patients with milder clinical symptoms. (+info)
Stable expression of protective protein/cathepsin A-green fluorescent protein fusion genes in a fibroblastic cell line from a galactosialidosis patient. Model system for revealing the intracellular transport of normal and mutated lysosomal enzymes.
Fibroblastic cell lines derived from a galactosialidosis patient, stably expressing the chimaeric green fluorescent protein variant (EGFP) gene fused to the wild-type and mutant human lysosomal protective protein/cathepsin A (PPCA) cDNA, were first established as a model system for revealing the sorting and processing of lysosomal enzymes and for investigating the molecular bases of their deficiencies. In the cell line expressing the wild-type PPCA-EGFP chimaera gene (EGFP-PPwild), an 81 kDa form (27 kDa EGFP fused to the C-terminus of the 54 kDa PPCA precursor) was produced, then processed into the mature 32/20 kDa two-chain form free of the EGFP domain. The intracellular cathepsin A, alpha-N-acetylneuraminidase and beta-galactosidase activities, which are deficient in the parent fibroblastic cells, could also be significantly restored in the cells. In contrast with the uniform and strong fluorescence throughout the cytoplasm and nucleus in the mock-cell line expressing only EGFP cDNA, weak reticular and punctate fluorescence was distributed throughout the EGFP-PPwild cell line. Bafilomycin A1, a potent inhibitor of vacuolar ATPase and intracellular acidification, induced the distribution of Golgi-like perinuclear fluorescence throughout the living and fixed cells, in which only the 81 kDa product was detected. After removal of the agent, time-dependent transport of the chimaeric protein from the Golgi apparatus to the prelysosomal structure in living cells was monitored with a confocal laser scanning microscope system. Leupeptin caused the distribution of lysosome-like granular fluorescence throughout the cytoplasm in the fixed cells, although it was hardly observed in living cells. The latter agent also dose-dependently induced an increase in the intracellular amount of the 81 kDa product containing the EGFP domain and inhibited the restoration of cathepsin A activity in the EGFP-PPwild cells after the removal of bafilomycin A1. In parallel, both the mature two-chain form and PPCA function disappeared. These results suggested that the chimaera gene product was transported to acidic compartments (endosomes/lysosomes), where proteolytic processing of the PPCA precursor/zymogen, quenching of the fluorescence, and random degradation of the EGFP portion occurred. A cell line stably expressing a chimaeric gene with a mutant PPCA cDNA containing an A1184-->G (Y395C) mutation, commonly detected in Japanese severe early-infantile type of galactosialidosis patients, showed an endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-like reticular fluorescence pattern. The PPCA-immunoreactive gene product was hardly detected in this cell line. The mutant chimaeric product was suggested to be degraded rapidly in the ER before transport to post-ER compartments. A cell line expressing the chimaeric gene with a T746-->A (Y249N) PPCA mutation exhibited both ER-like reticular and granular fluorescence on the reticular structure that was stronger than that in the EGFP-PPwild cells. Some of them contained large fluorescent inclusion-body-like structures. The ineffectiveness of transport inhibitors in the distribution changes in the two mutant chimaeric proteins suggested that they were not delivered to acidic compartments. Therefore this expression system can possibly be applied to the direct analysis of the sorting defects of mutant gene products in living cells and will be useful for the molecular investigation of lysosomal diseases, including galactosialidosis. (+info)
A lysosomal storage disease induced by Ipomoea carnea in goats in Mozambique.
A novel plant-induced lysosomal storage disease was observed in goats from a village in Mozambique. Affected animals were ataxic, with head tremors and nystagmus. Because of a lack of suitable feed, the animals consumed an exotic hedge plant growing in the village that was identified as Ipomoea carnea (shrubby morning glory, Convolvulaceae). The toxicosis was reproduced by feeding I. carnea plant material to goats. In acute cases, histologic changes in the brain and spinal cord comprised widespread cytoplasmic vacuolation of neurons and glial cells in association with axonal spheroid formation. Ultrastructurally, cytoplasmic storage vacuoles in neurons were membrane bound and consistent with lysosomes. Cytoplasmic vacuolation was also found in neurons in the submucosal and mesenteric plexuses in the small intestine, in renal tubular epithelial cells, and in macrophage-phagocytic cells in the spleen and lymph nodes in acute cases. Residual alterations in the brain in chronic cases revealed predominantly cerebellar lesions characterized by loss of Purkinje neurons and gliosis of the Purkinje cell layer. Analysis of I. carnea plant material by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry established the presence of the mannosidase inhibitor swainsonine and 2 glycosidase inhibitors, calystegine B2 and calystegine C1, consistent with a plant-induced alpha-mannosidosis in the goats. The described storage disorder is analogous to the lysosomal storage diseases induced by ingestion of locoweeds (Astragalus and Oxytropis) and poison peas (Swainsona). (+info)
Overgrowth of oral mucosa and facial skin, a novel feature of aspartylglucosaminuria.
Aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU) is a lysosomal storage disorder caused by deficiency of aspartylglucosaminidase (AGA). The main symptom is progressive mental retardation. A spectrum of different mutations has been reported in this disease, one missense mutation (Cys163Ser) being responsible for the majority of Finnish cases. We were able to examine 66 Finnish AGU patients for changes in the oral mucosa and 44 of these for changes in facial skin. Biopsy specimens of 16 oral lesions, 12 of them associated with the teeth, plus two facial lesions were studied histologically. Immunohistochemical staining for AGA was performed on 15 oral specimens. Skin was seborrhoeic in adolescent and adult patients, with erythema of the facial skin already common in childhood. Of 44 patients, nine (20%) had facial angiofibromas, tumours primarily occurring in association with tuberous sclerosis. Oedemic buccal mucosa (leucoedema) and gingival overgrowths were more frequent in AGU patients than in controls (p<0.001). Of 16 oral mucosal lesions studied histologically, 15 represented fibroepithelial or epithelial hyperplasias and were reactive in nature. Cytoplasmic vacuolisation was evident in four. Immunohistochemically, expression of AGA in AGU patients' mucosal lesions did not differ from that seen in corresponding lesions of normal subjects. Thus, the high frequency of mucosal overgrowth in AGU patients does not appear to be directly associated with lysosomal storage or with alterations in the level of AGA expression. (+info)
Accumulation of sialic acid in endocytic compartments interferes with the formation of mature lysosomes. Impaired proteolytic processing of cathepsin B in fibroblasts of patients with lysosomal sialic acid storage disease.
The impact of an altered endocytic environment on the biogenesis of lysosomes was studied in fibroblasts of patients suffering from sialic acid storage disease (SASD). This inherited disorder is characterized by the accumulation of acidic monosaccharides in lysosomal compartments and a concomitant decrease of their buoyant density. We demonstrate that C-terminal trimming of the lysosomal cysteine proteinase cathepsin B is inhibited in SASD fibroblasts. This late event in the biosynthesis of cathepsin B normally takes place in mature lysosomes, suggesting an impaired biogenesis of these organelles in SASD cells. When normal fibroblasts are loaded with sucrose, which inhibits transport from late endosomes to lysosomes, C-terminal cathepsin B processing is prevented to the same extent. Further characterization of the terminal endocytic compartments of SASD cells revealed properties usually associated with late endosomes/prelysosomes. In addition to a decreased buoyant density, SASD "lysosomes" show a reduced acidification capacity and appear smaller than their normal counterparts. We conclude that the accumulation of small non-diffusible compounds within endocytic compartments interferes with the formation of mature lysosomes and that the acidic environment of the latter organelles is a prerequisite for C-terminal processing of lysosomal hydrolases. (+info)
Aspartylglycosaminuria: biochemistry and molecular biology.
Aspartylglucosaminuria (AGU, McKusick 208400) is an autosomal recessive lysosomal storage disease caused by defective degradation of Asn-linked glycoproteins. AGU mutations occur in the gene (AGA) for glycosylasparaginase, the enzyme necessary for hydrolysis of the protein oligosaccharide linkage in Asn-linked glycoprotein substrates undergoing metabolic turnover. Loss of glycosylasparaginase activity leads to accumulation of the linkage unit Asn-GlcNAc in tissue lysosomes. Storage of this fragment affects the pathophysiology of neuronal cells most severely. The patients notably suffer from decreased cognitive abilities, skeletal abnormalities and facial grotesqueness. The progress of the disease is slower than in many other lysosomal storage diseases. The patients appear normal during infancy and generally live from 25 to 45 years. A specific AGU mutation is concentrated in the Finnish population with over 200 patients. The carrier frequency in Finland has been estimated to be in the range of 2.5-3% of the population. So far there are 20 other rare family AGU alleles that have been characterized at the molecular level in the world's population. Recently, two knockout mouse models for AGU have been developed. In addition, the crystal structure of human leukocyte glycosylasparaginase has been determined and the protein has a unique alphabetabetaalpha sandwich fold shared by a newly recognized family of important enzymes called N-terminal nucleophile (Ntn) hydrolases. The nascent single-chain precursor of glycosylase araginase self-cleaves into its mature alpha- and beta-subunits, a reaction required to activate the enzyme. This interesting biochemical feature is also shared by most of the Ntn-hydrolase family of proteins. Many of the disease-causing mutations prevent proper folding and subsequent activation of the glycosylasparaginase. (+info)