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Korner G.,University of Zurich | Korner G.,Affiliated with the Neuroscience Center Zurich | Korner G.,Affiliated with the Childrens Research Center | Noain D.,University of Zurich | And 24 more authors.

Tyrosine hydroxylase catalyses the hydroxylation of L-tyrosine to l-DOPA, the rate-limiting step in the synthesis of catecholamines. Mutations in the TH gene encoding tyrosine hydroxylase are associated with the autosomal recessive disorder tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency, which manifests phenotypes varying from infantile parkinsonism and DOPA-responsive dystonia, also termed type A, to complex encephalopathy with perinatal onset, termed type B. We generated homozygous Th knock-in mice with the mutation Th-p.R203H, equivalent to the most recurrent human mutation associated with type B tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency (TH-p.R233H), often unresponsive to l-DOPA treatment. The Th knock-in mice showed normal survival and food intake, but hypotension, hypokinesia, reduced motor coordination, wide-based gate and catalepsy. This phenotype was associated with a gradual loss of central catecholamines and the serious manifestations of motor impairment presented diurnal fluctuation but did not improve with standard l-DOPA treatment. The mutant tyrosine hydroxylase enzyme was unstable and exhibited deficient stabilization by catecholamines, leading to decline of brain tyrosine hydroxylase-immunoreactivity in the Th knock-in mice. In fact the substantia nigra presented an almost normal level of mutant tyrosine hydroxylase protein but distinct absence of the enzyme was observed in the striatum, indicating a mutation-associated mislocalization of tyrosine hydroxylase in the nigrostriatal pathway. This hypomorphic mouse model thus provides understanding on pathomechanisms in type B tyrosine hydroxylase deficiency and a platform for the evaluation of novel therapeutics for movement disorders with loss of dopaminergic input to the striatum. © 2015 The Author (2015). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Guarantors of Brain. All rights reserved. Source

Inauen C.,University of Zurich | Rufenacht V.,University of Zurich | Pandey A.V.,University of Bern | Hu L.,University of Zurich | And 6 more authors.
Molecular Diagnosis and Therapy

Introduction: Cysteamine is used to treat cystinosisvia the modification of cysteine residues substituting arginine in mutant proteins. Objectives: We investigated the effect of cysteamine on mutant argininosuccinate lyase (ASL), the second most common defect in the urea cycle. Methods: In an established mammalian expression system, 293T cell lysates were produced after transfection with all known cysteine for arginine mutations in the ASL gene (p.Arg94Cys, p.Arg95Cys, p.Arg168Cys, p.Arg379Cys, and p.Arg385Cys), allowing testing of the effect of cysteamine over 48 h in the culture medium as well as for 1 h immediately prior to the enzyme assay. Results: Cysteamine at low concentrations showed no effect on 293T cell viability, ASL protein expression, or ASL activity when applied during cell culture. However, incubation of transfected cells with 0.05 mM cysteamine immediately before the enzyme assay resulted in increased ASL activity of p.Arg94Cys, p.Arg379Cys, and p.Arg385Cys by 64, 20, and 197 %, respectively, and this result was significant (p < 0.01). Cell lysates carrying p.Arg385Cys and treated with cysteamine recover enzyme activity that is similar to the untreated designed mutation p.Arg385Lys, providing circumstantial evidence for the assumed cysteamine-induced change of a cysteine to a lysine analogue. Conclusion: Since 12 % of all known genotypes in ASL deficiency are affected by a cysteine for arginine mutation, we conclude that the potential of cysteamine or of related substances as remedy for this disease should be investigated further. © 2016 Springer International Publishing Switzerland Source

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