The molecular basis of malonyl-CoA decarboxylase deficiency

D R FitzPatrick, A Hill, J L Tolmie, D R Thorburn, J Christodoulou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We characterized a 2.1-kb human cDNA with a 1362-bp (454-amino acid) open reading frame showing 70.3% amino acid identity to goose malonyl-CoA decarboxylase (MCD). We have identified two different homozygous mutations in human MCD (hMCD) by using RT-PCR analysis of fibroblast RNA from two previously reported consanguineous Scottish patients with MCD deficiency. The first mutation is a 442C-->G transversion resulting in a premature stop codon (S148X) in the N-terminal half of the protein. The second is a 13-bp insertion in the mature RNA, causing a frameshift with predicted protein truncation. This insertion is the result of an intronic mutation generating a novel splice acceptor sequence (IVS4-14A-->G). Both mutations were found to segregate appropriately within the families and were not found in 100 normal unrelated individuals. These mutations would be predicted to cause MCD deficiency, thus confirming this transcript as the hMCD ortholog. The peptide sequence of hMCD revealed a C-terminal peroxisomal targeting sequence (-SKL). This targeting signal appears to be functional in vivo, since the distribution of MCD enzymatic activity in rat liver homogenates-as measured by means of subcellular fractionation-strongly suggests that MCD is localized to peroxisomes in addition to the mitochondrial localization reported elsewhere. These data strongly support this cDNA as encoding human MCD, an important regulator of fatty acid metabolism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)318-26
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Human Genetics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1999


  • Adolescent
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Carboxy-Lyases
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • Consanguinity
  • DNA, Complementary
  • Exons
  • Expressed Sequence Tags
  • Fibroblasts
  • Gene Expression
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Introns
  • Liver
  • Microbodies
  • Mitochondria
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Rats
  • Scotland
  • Sequence Homology


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