Characterization and classification of ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA3 mutants in fatal surfactant deficiency

J Biol Chem. 2006 Nov 10;281(45):34503-14. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M600071200. Epub 2006 Sep 7.


The ATP-binding cassette transporter ABCA3 is expressed predominantly at the limiting membrane of the lamellar bodies in lung alveolar type II cells. Recent study has shown that mutation of the ABCA3 gene causes fatal surfactant deficiency in newborns. In this study, we investigated in HEK293 cells the intracellular localization and N-glycosylation of the ABCA3 mutants so far identified in fatal surfactant deficiency patients. Green fluorescent protein-tagged L101P, L982P, L1553P, Q1591P, and Ins1518fs/ter1519 mutant proteins remained localized in the endoplasmic reticulum, and processing of oligosaccharide was impaired, whereas wild-type and N568D, G1221S, and L1580P mutant ABCA3 proteins trafficked to the LAMP3-positive intracellular vesicle, accompanied by processing of oligosaccharide from high mannose type to complex type. Vanadate-induced nucleotide trapping and ATP-binding analyses showed that ATP hydrolysis activity was dramatically decreased in the N568D, G1221S, and L1580P mutants, accompanied by a moderate decrease in ATP binding in N568D and L1580P mutants but not in the G1221S mutant, compared with the wild-type ABCA3 protein. In addition, mutational analyses of the Gly-1221 residue in the 11th transmembrane segment and the Leu-1580 residue in the cytoplasmic tail, and homology modeling of nucleotide binding domain 2 demonstrate the significance of these residues for ATP hydrolysis and suggest a mechanism for impaired ATP hydrolysis in G1221S and L1580P mutants. Thus, surfactant deficiency because of ABCA3 gene mutation may be classified into two categories as follows: abnormal intracellular localization (type I) and normal intracellular localization with decreased ATP binding and/or ATP hydrolysis of the ABCA3 protein (type II). These distinct pathophysiologies may reflect both the severity and effective therapy for surfactant deficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / genetics
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters / metabolism*
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism
  • Glycosylation
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hydrolysis
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Kidney / cytology
  • Kidney / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology
  • Lysosomal Membrane Proteins / metabolism
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / metabolism
  • Oligosaccharides / metabolism
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / genetics
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / pathology
  • Respiratory Insufficiency / physiopathology
  • Sequence Homology, Amino Acid
  • Subcellular Fractions
  • Vanadates / pharmacology


  • ABCA3 protein, human
  • ATP-Binding Cassette Transporters
  • LAMP3 protein, human
  • Lysosomal Membrane Proteins
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • enhanced green fluorescent protein
  • Green Fluorescent Proteins
  • Vanadates
  • Adenosine Triphosphate