Identification of a Novel Deletion in the MMAA Gene in Two Iranian Siblings with Vitamin B12-Responsive Methylmalonic Acidemia

Keyfi et al. Cellular & Molecular Biology Letters (2016) 21:4


Adenosylcobalamin (vitamin B12) is a coenzyme required for the activity of methylmalonyl-CoA mutase. Defects in this enzyme are a cause of methylmalonic acidemia (MMA). Methylmalonic acidemia, cblA type, is an inborn error of vitamin B12 metabolism that occurs due to mutations in the MMAA gene. MMAA encodes the enzyme which is involved in translocation of cobalamin into the mitochondria.

One family with two MMA-affected children, one unaffected child, and their parents were studied. The two affected children were diagnosed by urine organic acid analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. MMAA was analyzed by PCR and sequencing of its coding region.

A homozygous deletion in exon 4 of MMAA, c.674delA,was found in both affected children. This deletion causes a nucleotide frame shift resulting in a change from asparagine to methionine at amino acid 225 (p.N225M) and a truncated protein which loses the ArgK conserved domain site. mRNA expression analysis of MMAA confirmed these results.

We demonstrate that the deletion in exon 4 of the MMAA gene (c.674 delA) is a pathogenic allele via a nucleotide frame shift resulting in a stop codon and termination of protein synthesis 38 nucleotides (12 amino acids) downstream of the deletion.