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

Manipulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis as a possible therapeutic option in mevalonate kinase deficiency.

OBJECTIVE: In cells from patients with the autoinflammatory disorder mevalonate kinase (MK) deficiency, which includes the hyperimmunoglobulin D with periodic fever syndrome, MK becomes the rate-limiting enzyme in the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway. This suggests that up-regulation of residual MK activity in these patients could be a way in which to prevent or alleviate the associated symptoms. We studied the effect of 2 specific inhibitors of isoprenoid biosynthetic enzymes on the residual activity of MK in cells from patients with MK deficiency. METHODS: Skin fibroblasts from MK-deficient patients and from controls were cultured for 7 days with either simvastatin, an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A reductase, or zaragozic acid A, an inhibitor of squalene synthase. Following culture, MK activity, MK protein levels, MVK messenger RNA levels, and the effect on the pathway flux toward non-sterol isoprenoid biosynthesis were determined. RESULTS: Treatment of the fibroblasts with either of the inhibitors led to a marked increase in residual MK enzyme activity, which was largely attributable to increased MVK gene transcription. This effect was even more pronounced when the cells were cultured in lipoprotein-depleted medium. The flux toward nonsterol isoprenoid end-product synthesis was reduced when cells were treated with simvastatin but was partly restored by concomitant treatment with zaragozic acid A. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate that manipulations of the isoprenoid biosynthesis pathway that promote the synthesis of nonsterol isoprenoids may provide an interesting therapeutic option for the treatment of MK deficiency.[1]


  1. Manipulation of isoprenoid biosynthesis as a possible therapeutic option in mevalonate kinase deficiency. Schneiders, M.S., Houten, S.M., Turkenburg, M., Wanders, R.J., Waterham, H.R. Arthritis Rheum. (2006) [Pubmed]
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