PNC2 (SLC25A36) Deficiency Associated With the Hyperinsulinism/Hyperammonemia Syndrome

Bassam Abu-Libdeh
Et al.
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Context: The hyperinsulinism/hyperammonemia (HI/HA) syndrome, the second-most common form of congenital hyperinsulinism, has been associated with dominant mutations in GLUD1, coding for the mitochondrial enzyme glutamate dehydrogenase, that increase enzyme activity by reducing its sensitivity to allosteric inhibition by GTP. Objective: To identify the underlying genetic etiology in 2 siblings who presented with the biochemical features of HI/HA syndrome but did not carry pathogenic variants in GLUD1, and to determine the functional impact of the newly identified mutation. Methods: The patients were investigated by whole exome sequencing. Yeast complementation studies and biochemical assays on the recom-binant mutated protein were performed. The consequences of stable slc25a36 silencing in HeLa cells were also investigated. Results: A homozygous splice site variant was identified in solute carrier family 25, member 36 (SLC25A36), encoding the pyrimidine nucleo-tide carrier 2 (PNC2), a mitochondrial nucleotide carrier that transports pyrimidine as well as guanine nucleotides across the inner mitochon-drial membrane. The mutation leads to a 26-aa in-frame deletion in the first repeat domain of the protein, which abolishes transport activity. Furthermore, knockdown of slc25a36 expression in HeLa cells caused a marked reduction in the mitochondrial GTP content, which likely leads to a hyperactivation of glutamate dehydrogenase in our patients. Conclusion: We report for the first time a mutation in PNC2/SLC25A36 leading to HI/HA and provide functional evidence of the molecular mechanism responsible for this phenotype. Our findings underscore the importance of mitochondrial nucleotide metabolism and expand the role of mitochondrial transporters in insulin secretion.