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A Biochemical Platform to Define the Relative Specific Activity of IDUA Variants Identified by Newborn Screening

Published: 12 November 2020
 by  MDPI AG
International Journal of Neonatal Screening , Volume 6; doi:10.3390/ijns6040088

Abstract: The lysosomal storage disorder, mucopolysaccharidosis I (MPSI), results from mutations in IDUA, the gene that encodes the glycosaminoglycan-degrading enzyme α-L-iduronidase. Newborn screening efforts for MPSI have greatly increased the number of novel IDUA variants identified, but with insufficient experimental evidence regarding their pathogenicity, many of these variants remain classified as variants of uncertain significance (VUS). Defining pathogenicity for novel IDUA variants is critical for decisions regarding medical management and early intervention. Here, we describe a biochemical platform for the characterization of IDUA variants that relies on viral delivery of IDUA DNA into IDUA-deficient HAP1 cells and isolation of single cell expression clones. The relative specific activity of wild-type and variant α-iduronidase was determined using a combination of Western blot analysis and α-iduronidase activity assays. The specific activity of each variant enzyme was consistent across different single cell clones despite variable IDUA expression and could be accurately determined down to 0.05–0.01% of WT α-iduronidase activity. With this strategy we compared the specific activities of known pseudodeficiency variants (p.His82Gln, p.Ala79Thr, p.Val322Glu, p.Asp223Asn) or pathogenic variants (p.Ser633Leu, p.His240Arg) with variants of uncertain significance (p.Ser586Phe, p.Ile272Leu). The p.Ser633Leu and p.His240Arg variants both show very low activities consistent with their association with Scheie syndrome. In our experiments, however, p.His240Arg exhibited a specific activity five times higher than p.Ser633Leu in contrast to other reports showing equivalent activity. Cell clones expressing the p.Ser586Phe and p.Ile272Leu variants had specific activities in the range of other pseudodeficiency variants tested. Our findings show that pseudodeficiency and pathogenic variants can be distinguished from each other with regard to specific activity, and confirms that all the pseudodeficiency variants variably reduce α-iduronidase activity. We envision this platform will be a valuable resource for the rigorous assessment of the novel IDUA variants emerging from the expansion of newborn screening efforts.
Keywords: Newborn Screening / Mucopolysaccharidosis / Pseudodeficiency / α-iduronidase / Keywords: IDUA

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