5,10-methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) deficiency is a rare hereditary disease characterized by defects in folate and homocysteine metabolism. Individuals with inherited gene mutations have a higher tendency to develop neurodegeneration disease as Alzheimer’ disease and atherosclerosis. MTHFR is a rate-limiting enzyme catalyzing folate production, various SNPs/mutations in the gene have been correlated to MTHFR deficiency. However, the molecular mechanisms underpinning the pathogenic effects of these SNPs/mutations have not been clearly understood. In the present study, we reported a severe MTHFR deficiency patient with late-onset motor dysfunction and sequenced gene exons of the family. The patient carries an MD-associating SNP (rs748289202) in one allele and the rs545086633 SNP with unknown disease relevance in the other. The rs545086633 SNP (p.Leu439Pro) results in an L439P substitution in MTHFR protein, and drastically decreases mutant protein expression by promoting proteasomal degradation. L in MTHFR is highly conserved in vertebrates. Our study demonstrated that p.Leu439Pro in is the first mutation causing significant intracellular defects of MTHFR, and rs545086633 should be examined for the in-depth diagnosis and treatment of MD.

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PubMed