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1.  Phenylbutyrate increases pyruvate dehydrogenase complex activity in cells harboring a variety of defects 
Objective
Deficiency of pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDHC) is the most common genetic disorder leading to lactic acidosis. PDHC deficiency is genetically heterogenous and most patients have defects in the X-linked E1-α gene but defects in the other components of the complex encoded by PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD genes or in the regulatory enzyme encoded by PDP1 have also been found. Phenylbutyrate enhances PDHC enzymatic activity in vitro and in vivo by increasing the proportion of unphosphorylated enzyme through inhibition of pyruvate dehydrogenase kinases and thus, has potential for therapy of patients with PDHC deficiency. In the present study, we investigated response to phenylbutyrate of multiple cell lines harboring all known gene defects resulting in PDHC deficiency.
Methods
Fibroblasts of patients with PDHC deficiency were studied for their enzyme activity at baseline and following phenylbutyrate incubation. Drug responses were correlated with genotypes and protein levels by Western blotting.
Results
Large deletions affecting PDHA1 that result in lack of detectable protein were unresponsive to phenylbutyrate, whereas increased PDHC activity was detected in most fibroblasts harboring PDHA1 missense mutations. Mutations affecting the R349-α residue were directed to proteasome degradation and were consistently unresponsive to short-time drug incubation but longer incubation resulted in increased levels of enzyme activity and protein that may be due to an additional effect of phenylbutyrate as a molecular chaperone.
Interpretation
PDHC enzyme activity was enhanced by phenylbutyrate in cells harboring missense mutations in PDHB, PDHX, DLAT, DLD, and PDP1 genes. In the prospect of a clinical trial, the results of this study may allow prediction of in vivo response in patients with PDHC deficiency harboring a wide spectrum of molecular defects.
doi:10.1002/acn3.73
PMCID: PMC4184775  PMID: 25356417
3.  A founder mutation in the PEX6 gene is responsible for increased incidence of Zellweger syndrome in a French Canadian population 
BMC Medical Genetics  2012;13:72.
Background
Zellweger syndrome (ZS) is a peroxisome biogenesis disorder due to mutations in any one of 13 PEX genes. Increased incidence of ZS has been suspected in French-Canadians of the Saguenay-Lac-St-Jean region (SLSJ) of Quebec, but this remains unsolved.
Methods
We identified 5 ZS patients from SLSJ diagnosed by peroxisome dysfunction between 1990–2010 and sequenced all coding exons of known PEX genes in one patient using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) for diagnostic confirmation.
Results
A homozygous mutation (c.802_815del, p.[Val207_Gln294del, Val76_Gln294del]) in PEX6 was identified and then shown in 4 other patients. Parental heterozygosity was confirmed in all. Incidence of ZS was estimated to 1 in 12,191 live births, with a carrier frequency of 1 in 55. In addition, we present data suggesting that this mutation abolishes a SF2/ASF splice enhancer binding site, resulting in the use of two alternative cryptic donor splice sites and predicted to encode an internally deleted in-frame protein.
Conclusion
We report increased incidence of ZS in French-Canadians of SLSJ caused by a PEX6 founder mutation. To our knowledge, this is the highest reported incidence of ZS worldwide. These findings have implications for carrier screening and support the utility of NGS for molecular confirmation of peroxisomal disorders.
doi:10.1186/1471-2350-13-72
PMCID: PMC3483250  PMID: 22894767
Zellweger syndrome; Founder effect; Peroxisome biogenesis disorders; Next generation sequencing
4.  In vitro and in vivo plasmalogen replacement evaluations in rhizomelic chrondrodysplasia punctata and Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease using PPI-1011, an ether lipid plasmalogen precursor 
Background
Childhood peroxisomal disorders and leukodystrophies are devastating diseases characterized by dysfunctional lipid metabolism. Plasmalogens (ether glycerophosphoethanolamine lipids) are decreased in these genetic disorders. The biosynthesis of plasmalogens is initiated in peroxisomes but completed in the endoplasmic reticulum. We therefore undertook a study to evaluate the ability of a 3-substituted, 1-alkyl, 2-acyl glyceryl ether lipid (PPI-1011) to replace plasmalogens in rhizomelic chrondrodysplasia punctata type 1 (RCDP1) and rhizomelic chrondrodysplasia punctata type 2 (RCDP2) lymphocytes which possess peroxisomal mutations culminating in deficient plasmalogen synthesis. We also examined plasmalogen synthesis in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) lymphocytes which possess a proteolipid protein-1 (PLP1) missense mutation that results in abnormal PLP1 folding and it's accumulation in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), the cellular site of the last steps in plasmalogen synthesis. In vivo incorporation of plasmalogen precursor into tissue plasmalogens was also evaluated in the Pex7 mouse model of plasmalogen deficiency.
Results
In both RCDP1 and RCDP2 lymphocytes, PPI-1011 repleted the target ethanolamine plasmalogen (PlsEtn16:0/22:6) in a concentration dependent manner. In addition, deacylation/reacylation reactions resulted in repletion of PlsEtn 16:0/20:4 in both RCDP1 and RCDP2 lymphocytes, repletion of PlsEtn 16:0/18:1 and PlsEtn 16:0/18:2 in RCDP2 lymphocytes, and partial repletion of PlsEtn 16:0/18:1 and PlsEtn 16:0/18:2 in RCDP1 lymphocytes. In the Pex7 mouse, oral dosing of labeled PPI-1011 demonstrated repletion of tissue levels of the target plasmalogen PlsEtn 16:0/22:6 with phospholipid remodeling also resulting in significant repletion of PlsEtn 16:0/20:4 and PlsEtn 16:0/18:1. Metabolic conversion of PPI-1011 to the target plasmalogen was most active in the liver.
Conclusions
Our data demonstrate that PPI-1011 is activated (removal of 3-substitution) and converted to PlsEtn in vitro in both RCDP1 and RCDP2 lymphocytes and in vivo in the Pex7 mouse model of RCPD1 effectively bypassing the peroxisomal dysfunction present in these disorders. While PPI-1011 was shown to replete PlsEtns 16:0/x, ether lipid precursors of PlsEtn 18:0/x and PlsEtn 18:1/x may also be needed to achieve optimal clinical benefits of plasmalogen replacement in these complex patient populations. In contrast, only limited plasmalogen replacement was observed in PMD lymphocytes suggesting that the effects of protein misfolding and accumulation in the ER negatively affect processing of plasmalogen precursors in this cellular compartment.
doi:10.1186/1476-511X-10-182
PMCID: PMC3238230  PMID: 22008564
Rhizomelic chrondrodysplasia punctata type 1; Rhizomelic chrondrodysplasia punctata type 2; Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease; Pex7 mouse; lymphocytes; plasmalogen precursor; DHA; peroxisomal disorders; PPI-1011
5.  Nonsense suppressor therapies rescue peroxisome lipid metabolism and assembly in cells from patients with specific PEX gene mutations 
Journal of cellular biochemistry  2011;112(5):1250-1258.
Peroxisome biogenesis disorders (PBDs) are multisystemic autosomal recessive disorders resulting from mutations in PEX genes required for normal peroxisome assembly and metabolic activities. Here, we evaluated the potential effectiveness of aminoglycoside G418 (geneticin) and PTC124 (ataluren) nonsense suppression therapies for the treatment of PBD patients with disease-causing nonsense mutations. PBD patient skin fibroblasts producing stable PEX2 or PEX12 nonsense transcripts and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells with a Pex2 nonsense allele all showed dramatic improvements in peroxisomal very long chain fatty acid catabolism and plasmalogen biosynthesis in response to G418 treatments. Cell imaging assays provided complementary confirmatory evidence of improved peroxisome assembly in G418-treated patient fibroblasts. In contrast, we observed no appreciable rescue of peroxisome lipid metabolism or assembly for any patient fibroblast or CHO cell culture treated with various doses of PTC124. Additionally, PTC124 did not show measurable nonsense suppression in immunoblot assays that directly evaluated the read-through of PEX7 nonsense alleles found in PBD patients with rhizomelic chondrodysplasia punctata type 1 (RCDP1). Overall, our results support the continued development of safe and effective nonsense suppressor therapies that could benefit a significant subset of individuals with PBDs. Furthermore, we suggest that the described cell culture assay systems could be useful for evaluating and screening for novel nonsense suppressor therapies.
doi:10.1002/jcb.22979
PMCID: PMC3136445  PMID: 21465523
peroxisome biogenesis disorder; ataluren; geneticin; nonsense mutation

Results 1-5 (5)