Functional and structural impact of 10 ACADM missense mutations on human medium chain acyl-Coa dehydrogenase

Catarina A. Madeira, Carolina Anselmo, João M. Costa, Cátia A. Bonito, Ricardo J. Ferreira, Daniel J.V.A. Santos, Ronald J. Wanders, João B. Vicente, Fátima V. Ventura, Paula Leandro

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Medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase (MCAD) deficiency (MCADD) is associated with ACADM gene mutations, leading to an impaired function and/or structure of MCAD. Importantly, after import into the mitochondria, MCAD must incorporate a molecule of flavin adenine dinucleotide (FAD) per subunit and assemble into tetramers. However, the effect of MCAD amino acid substitutions on FAD incorporation has not been investigated. Herein, the commonest MCAD variant (p.K304E) and 11 additional rare variants (p.Y48C, p.R55G, p.A88P, p.Y133C, p.A140T, p.D143V, p.G224R, p.L238F, p.V264I, p.Y372N, and p.G377V) were functionally and structurally characterized. Half of the studied variants presented a FAD content <65 % compared to the wild-type. Most of them were recovered as tetramers, except the p.Y372N (mainly as dimers). No correlation was found between the levels of tetramers and FAD content. However, a correlation between FAD content and the cofactor's affinity, proteolytic stability, thermostability, and thermal inactivation was established. We showed that the studied amino acid changes in MCAD may alter the substrate chain-length dependence and the interaction with electron-transferring-flavoprotein (ETF) necessary for a proper functioning electron transfer thus adding additional layers of complexity to the pathological effect of ACADM missense mutations. Although the majority of the variant MCADs presented an impaired capacity to retain FAD during their synthesis, some of them were structurally rescued by cofactor supplementation, suggesting that in the mitochondrial environment the levels and activity of those variants may be dependent of FAD's availability thus contributing for the heterogeneity of the MCADD phenotype found in patients presenting the same genotype.

Original languageEnglish
Article number166766
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • Disease-causing mutations
  • Electron transferring flavoprotein
  • Flavin adenine dinucleotide
  • Inborn metabolic disorders
  • Medium chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Protein misfolding


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