Characterization of SNPs in the dopamine-β-hydroxylase gene providing new insights into its structure-function relationship.

PMID 28707163


Dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH, EC, an oxido-reductase that catalyses the conversion of dopamine to norepinephrine, is largely expressed in sympathetic neurons and adrenal medulla. Several regulatory and structural variants in DBH associated with various neuropsychiatric, cardiovascular diseases and a few that may determine enzyme activity have also been identified. Due to paucity of studies on functional characterization of DBH variants, its structure-function relationship is poorly understood. The purpose of the study was to characterize five non-synonymous (ns) variants that were prioritized either based on previous association studies or Sorting Tolerant From Intolerant (SIFT) algorithm. The DBH ORF with wild type (WT) and site-directed mutagenized variants were transfected into HEK293 cells to generate transient and stable lines expressing these variant enzymes. Activity was determined by UPLC-PDA and corresponding quantity by MRM(HR) on a TripleTOF 5600 MS respectively of spent media from stable cell lines. Homospecific activity computed for the WT and variant proteins showed a marginal decrease in A318S, W544S and R549C variants. In transient cell lines, differential secretion was observed in the case of L317P, W544S and R549C. Secretory defect in L317P was confirmed by localization in ER. R549C exhibited both decreased homospecific activity and differential secretion. Of note, all the variants were seen to be destabilizing based on in silico folding analysis and molecular dynamics (MD) simulation, lending support to our experimental observations. These novel genotype-phenotype correlations in this gene of considerable pharmacological relevance have implications for dopamine-related disorders.