Bioenergetics in glutaryl-coenzyme A dehydrogenase deficiency: A role for glutaryl-coenzyme A

Sven W. Sauer, Jürgen G. Okun, Marina A. Schwab, Linda R. Crnic, Georg F. Hoffmann, Stephen I. Goodman, David M. Koeller, Stefan Kölker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Inherited deficiency of glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase results in an accumulation of glutaryl-CoA, glutaric, and 3-hydroxyglutaric acids. If untreated, most patients suffer an acute encephalopathic crisis and, subsequently, acute striatal damage being precipitated by febrile infectious diseases during a vulnerable period of brain development (age 3 and 36 months). It has been suggested before that some of these organic acids may induce excitotoxic cell damage, however, the relevance of bioenergetic impairment is not yet understood. The major aim of our study was to investigate respiratory chain, tricarboxylic acid cycle, and fatty acid oxidation in this disease using purified single enzymes and tissue homogenates from Gcdh-deficient and wild-type mice. In purified enzymes, glutaryl-CoA but not glutaric or 3-hydroxyglutaric induced an uncompetitive inhibition of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex activity. Notably, reduced activity of α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase activity has recently been demonstrated in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, and Huntington diseases. In contrast to α-ketoglutarate dehydrogenase complex, no direct inhibition of glutaryl-CoA, glutaric acid, and 3-hydroxyglutaric acid was found in other enzymes tested. In Gcdh-deficient mice, respiratory chain and tricarboxylic acid activities remained widely unaffected, virtually excluding regulatory changes in these enzymes. However, hepatic activity of very long-chain acyl-CoA dehydrogenase was decreased and concentrations of long-chain acylcarnitines increased in the bile of these mice, which suggested disturbed oxidation of long-chain fatty acids. In conclusion, our results demonstrate that bioenergetic impairment may play an important role in the pathomechanisms underlying neurodegenerative changes in glutaryl-CoA dehydrogenase deficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21830-21836
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 10 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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