Mutations causing acrodysostosis-2 facilitate activation of phosphodiesterase 4D3
Type 2 acrodysostosis (ACRDYS2), a rare developmental skeletal dysplasia characterized by short stature, severe brachydactyly and facial dysostosis, is caused by mutations in the phosphodiesterase (PDE) 4D (PDE4D) gene. Several arguments suggest that the mutations should result in inappropriately increased PDE4D activity, however, no direct evidence supporting this hypothesis has been presented, and the functional consequences of the mutations remain unclear. We evaluated the impact of four different PDE4D mutations causing ACRDYS2 located in different functional domains on the activity of PDE4D3 expressed in Chinese hamster ovary cells. Three independent approaches were used: the direct measurement of PDE activity in cell lysates, the evaluation of intracellular cAMP levels using an EPAC-based (exchange factor directly activated by cAMP) bioluminescence resonance energy transfer sensor, and the assessment of PDE4D3 activation based on electrophoretic mobility. Our findings indicate that PDE4D3s carrying the ACRDYS2 mutations are more easily activated by protein kinase A-induced phosphorylation than WT PDE4D3. This occurs over a wide range of intracellular cAMP concentrations, including basal conditions, and result in increased hydrolytic activity. Our results provide new information concerning the mechanism whereby the mutations identified in the ACRDYS2 dysregulate PDE4D activity, and give insights into rare diseases involving the cAMP signaling pathway. These findings may offer new perspectives into the selection of specific PDE inhibitors and possible therapeutic intervention for these patients.