Deficiency Mutations of Alpha-1 Antitrypsin. Effects on Folding, Function, and Polymerization

American Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Imran HaqDavid A Lomas


Misfolding, polymerization, and defective secretion of functional alpha-1 antitrypsin underlies the predisposition to severe liver and lung disease in alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. We have identified a novel (Ala336Pro, Baghdad) deficiency variant and characterized it relative to the wild-type (M) and Glu342Lys (Z) alleles. The index case is a homozygous individual of consanguineous parentage, with levels of circulating alpha-1 antitrypsin in the moderate deficiency range, but is a biochemical phenotype that could not be classified by standard methods. The majority of the protein was present as functionally inactive polymer, and the remaining monomer was 37% active relative to the wild-type protein. These factors combined indicate an 85 to 95% functional deficiency, similar to that seen with ZZ homozygotes. Biochemical, biophysical, and computational studies further defined the molecular basis of this deficiency. These studies demonstrated that native Ala336Pro alpha-1 antitrypsin could populate the polymerogenic intermediate-and therefore polymerize-more readily than either wild-type alpha-1 antitrypsin or the Z variant. In contrast, folding was far less impaired in Ala336Pro alpha-1 antitrypsin than in the Z variant. The da...Continue Reading


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