The novel mutation p.Trp147Arg of the steroidogenic acute regulatory protein causes classic lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia with adrenal insufficiency and 46,XY disorder of sex development

Bilgin Yüksel, Alexandra E Kulle, Fatih Gürbüz, Maik Welzel, Damla Kotan, Eda Mengen, Paul-Martin Holterhus, Ali Kemal Topaloğlu, Joachim Grötzinger, Felix G Riepe
Hormone Research in Pædiatrics 2013, 80 (3): 163-9

BACKGROUND: The steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (StAR) is essential for steroidogenesis by mediating cholesterol transfer into mitochondria. Inactivating StAR mutations cause lipoid congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

OBJECTIVE AND METHODS: To identify causative mutations in a patient presenting with adrenal failure during early infancy. The objective was to study the functional and structural consequences of the novel StAR mutation p.Trp147Arg in a Turkish patient detected in compound heterozygosity with the p.Glu169Lys mutation.

RESULTS: Transient in vitro expression of the mutant proteins together with P450 side-chain cleavage enzyme, adrenodoxin, and adrenodoxin reductase yielded severely diminished cholesterol conversion of the p.Trp147Arg mutant. The previously described p.Glu169Lys mutant led to significantly lower cholesterol conversion than wild-type StAR protein. As derived from three-dimensional protein modeling, the residue W147 is stabilizing the C-terminal helix in a closed conformation hereby acting as gatekeeper of the ligand cavity of StAR.

CONCLUSIONS: The novel mutation p.Trp147Arg causes primary adrenal insufficiency and complete sex reversal in the 46,XY patient. Clinical disease, in vitro studies and three-dimensional protein modeling of the mutation p.Trp147Arg underscore the relevance of this highly conserved residue for StAR protein function.

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