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Dynamics, stability and iron-binding activity of frataxin clinical mutants

Friedreich's ataxia results from a deficiency in the mitochondrial protein frataxin, which carries single point mutations in some patients. In the present study, we analysed the consequences of different disease-related mutations in vitro on the stability and dynamics of human frataxin. Two of the mutations, G130V and D122Y, were investigated for the first time. Analysis by CD spectroscopy demonstrated a substantial decrease in the thermodynamic stability of the variants during chemical and thermal unfolding (wild-type > W155R > I154F > D122Y > G130V), which was reversible in all cases. Protein dynamics was studied in detail and revealed that the mutants have distinct propensities towards aggregation. It was observed that the mutants have increased correlation times and different relative ratios between soluble and insoluble/aggregated protein. NMR showed that the clinical mutants retained a compact and relatively rigid globular core despite their decreased stabilities.

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About the Author

Jen Farmer

Jen Farmer

Executive Director


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