X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy (X-ALD) is the most common peroxisomal disorder. It is a heterogeneous disorder caused by mutations in the ATP-binding cassette protein subfamily D1 (ABCD1) gene, encoding the peroxisomal membrane protein ALDP, which is involved in the transmembrane transport of very long-chain fatty acids. For the first time, we report a case of olivopontocerebellar X-ALD on the Chinese mainland. In this study, a novel mutation (c.447T>A; p.S149R) in ABCD1 was detected in a patient diagnosed with X-ALD. The mutant amino acid is well conserved among species. Bioinformatics analysis predicted the substitution to be deleterious and to cause structural changes in the adrenoleukodystrophy protein. Immunofluorescence showed an altered subcellular localization of the S149R mutant protein, which may lead to defects in the degradation of very long chain fatty acids in peroxisomes. We therefore suggest that the novel mutation, which alters ALDP structure, subcellular distribution and function, is responsible for X-ALD.
Keywords: ABCD1 gene; X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy; bioinformatics analysis; genetic diagnosis; peroxisomal disorder.