Structural and functional analyses of Barth syndrome-causing mutations and alternative splicing in the tafazzin acyltransferase domain

Atsushi Hijikata, Kei Yura, Osamu Ohara, Mitiko Go

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Tafazzin is a mitochondrial phospholipid transacylase, and its mutations cause Barth syndrome (BTHS). Human tafazzin gene produces four distinct alternatively spliced transcripts. To understand the molecular mechanisms of tafazzin deficiency, we performed an atomic resolution analysis of the influence of the BTHS mutations and of alternative splicing on the structure and function of tafazzin. From the three-dimensional (3D) homology modeling of tafazzin, we identified candidate amino acid residues that contribute to cardiolipin binding and to mitochondrial membrane associations that facilitate acyl-transfer reactions. Primate specific exon 5, which is alternatively spliced, is predicted to correspond to an intrinsically unstructured region in the protein. We proposed that this region should change the substrate-binding affinity and/or contribute to primate-specific molecular interactions. Exon 7, another alternatively spliced exon, encodes a region forming a part of the putative substrate-binding cleft, suggesting that the gene products lacking exon 7 will lose their substrate-binding ability. We demonstrate a clear localization of the BTHS mutations at residues responsible for membrane association, substrate binding, and the conformational stability of tafazzin. These findings provide new insights into the function of defective tafazzin and the pathogenesis of BTHS at the level of protein 3D structure and the evolution of alternatively spliced exons in primates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)92-106
Number of pages15
JournalMeta Gene
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jun 1
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Disease-causing mutations
  • Homology modeling
  • Immunodeficiency
  • Intrinsically unstructured region
  • TAZ gene
  • X-linked recessive disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Structural and functional analyses of Barth syndrome-causing mutations and alternative splicing in the tafazzin acyltransferase domain'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this