Properties of normal and mutant recombinant human ketohexokinases and implications for the pathogenesis of essential fructosuria.

PMID 12941785


Alternative splicing of the ketohexokinase (fructokinase) gene generates a "central" predominantly hepatic isoform (ketohexokinase-C) and a more widely distributed ketohexokinase-A. Only the abundant hepatic isoform is known to possess activity, and no function is defined for the lower levels of ketohexokinase-A in peripheral tissues. Hepatic ketohexokinase deficiency causes the benign disorder essential fructosuria. The molecular basis of this has been defined in one family (compound heterozygosity for mutations Gly40Arg and Ala43Thr). Here we show that both ketohexokinase isoforms are indeed active. Ketohexokinase-A has much poorer substrate affinity than ketohexokinase-C for fructose but is considerably more thermostable. The Gly40Arg mutation seems null, rendering both ketohexokinase-A and ketohexokinase-C inactive and largely insoluble. The Ala43Thr mutant retains activity, but this mutation decreases the thermal stability of both ketohexokinase-A and ketohexokinase-C. At physiologic temperature, this results in significant loss of ketohexokinase-C activity but not of ketohexokinase-A. Affected individuals who carry both mutations therefore probably have a selective deficiency of hepatic ketohexokinase, with peripheral ketohexokinase-A being preserved. These findings raise the possibility that ketohexokinase-A serves an unknown physiologic function that remains intact in essential fructosuria. Further mutation analysis in this rare disorder could illuminate the question of whether ketohexokinase-A activity is, unlike that of ketohexokinase-C, physiologically indispensable.