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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
 
 
 

Impaired elastic-fiber assembly by fibroblasts from patients with either Morquio B disease or infantile GM1-gangliosidosis is linked to deficiency in the 67-kD spliced variant of beta-galactosidase.

We have previously shown that intracellular trafficking and extracellular assembly of tropoelastin into elastic fibers is facilitated by the 67-kD elastin-binding protein identical to an enzymatically inactive, alternatively spliced variant of beta-galactosidase (S-Gal). In the present study, we investigated elastic-fiber assembly in cultures of dermal fibroblasts from patients with either Morquio B disease or GM1-gangliosidosis who bore different mutations of the beta-galactosidase gene. We found that fibroblasts taken from patients with an adult form of GM1-gangliosidosis and from patients with an infantile form, carrying a missense mutations in the beta-galactosidase gene-mutations that caused deficiency in lysosomal beta-galactosidase but not in S-Gal-assembled normal elastic fibers. In contrast, fibroblasts from two cases of infantile GM1-gangliosidosis that bear nonsense mutations of the beta-galactosidase gene, as well as fibroblasts from four patients with Morquio B who had mutations causing deficiency in both forms of beta-galactosidase, did not assemble elastic fibers. We also demonstrated that S-Gal-deficient fibroblasts from patients with either GM1-gangliosidosis or Morquio B can acquire the S-Gal protein, produced by coculturing of Chinese hamster ovary cells permanently transected with S-Gal cDNA, resulting in improved deposition of elastic fibers. The present study provides a novel and natural model validating functional roles of S-Gal in elastogenesis and elucidates an association between impaired elastogenesis and the development of connective-tissue disorders in patients with Morquio B disease and in patients with an infantile form of GM1-gangliosidosis.[1]

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