Biotin-responsive multiple carboxylase deficiency is an inherited disorder of organic acid metabolism in man in which there are deficiencies of propionyl-coenzyme A (CoA), 3-methylcrotonyl-CoA, and pyruvate carboxylases that can be corrected with large doses of biotin. It has been proposed that the basic defect in patients with the early infantile form of the disease is in holocarboxylase synthetase, the enzyme that covalently attaches biotin to the inactive apocarboxylases to form active holocarboxylases. We have developed an assay for holocarboxylase synthetase in extracts of human fibroblasts using as substrate apopropionyl-CoA carboxylase partially purified from livers of biotin-deficient rats. Fibroblasts from the initial patient with the infantile form of biotin-responsive multiple carboxylase deficiency were shown to have abnormal holocarboxylase synthetase activity with a maximum velocity about 30-40% of normal, a K(m) for ATP of 0.3 mM similar to the normal K(m) of 0.2 mM, and a highly elevated K(m) for biotin of 126 ng/ml, about 60 times the normal K(m) of 2 ng/ml. These results show that the primary defect in this patient is a mutation affecting holocarboxylase synthetase activity, and thus a genetic defect of the metabolism of biotin.
ASJC Scopus subject areas