Background: Common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 1 with modest effects on PC1/3 in vitro have been associated with obesity in five genome-wide association studies and with diabetes in one genome-wide association study. We here present a novel SNP and compare its biosynthesis, secretion and catalytic activity to wild-type enzyme and to SNPs that have been linked to obesity.
Methodology/principal findings: A novel PC1/3 variant introducing an Arg to Gln amino acid substitution at residue 80 (within the secondary cleavage site of the prodomain) (rs1799904) was studied. This novel variant was selected for analysis from the 1000 Genomes sequencing project based on its predicted deleterious effect on enzyme function and its comparatively more frequent allele frequency. The actual existence of the R80Q (rs1799904) variant was verified by Sanger sequencing. The effects of this novel variant on the biosynthesis, secretion, and catalytic activity were determined; the previously-described obesity risk SNPs N221D (rs6232), Q665E/S690T (rs6234/rs6235), and the Q665E and S690T SNPs (analyzed separately) were included for comparative purposes. The novel R80Q (rs1799904) variant described in this study resulted in significantly detrimental effects on both the maturation and in vitro catalytic activity of PC1/3.
Conclusion/significance: Our findings that this novel R80Q (rs1799904) variant both exhibits adverse effects on PC1/3 activity and is prevalent in the population suggests that further biochemical and genetic analysis to assess its contribution to the risk of metabolic disease within the general population is warranted.