Disease-causing mutations in the cellular retinaldehyde binding protein tighten and abolish ligand interactions

Irina Golovleva, Sanjoy Bhattacharya, Zhiping Wu, Natacha Shaw, Yanwu Yang, Khurshid Andrabi, Karen A. West, Marie S.I. Burstedt, Kristina Forsman, Gösta Holmgren, Ola Sandgren, Noa Noy, Jun Qin, John W. Crabb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Mutations in the human cellular retinaldehyde binding protein (CRALBP) gene cause retinal pathology. To understand the molecular basis of impaired CRALBP function, we have characterized human recombinant CRALBP containing the disease causing mutations R233W or M225K. Protein structures were verified by amino acid analysis and mass spectrometry, retinoid binding properties were evaluated by UV-visible and fluorescence spectroscopy and substrate carrier functions were assayed for recombinant 11-cis-retinol dehydrogenase (rRDH5). The M225K mutant was less soluble than the R233W mutant and lacked retinoid binding capability and substrate carrier function. In contrast, the R233W mutant exhibited solubility comparable to wild type rCRALBP and bound stoichiometric amounts of 11-cis- and 9-cis-retinal with at least 2-fold higher affinity than wild type rCRALBP. Holo-R233W significantly decreased the apparent affinity of rRDH5 for 11-cis-retinoid relative to wild type rCRALBP. Analyses by heteronuclear single quantum correlation NMR demonstrated that the R233W protein exhibits a different conformation than wild type rCRALBP, including a different retinoid-binding pocket conformation. The R233W mutant also undergoes less extensive structural changes upon photoisomerization of bound ligand, suggesting a more constrained structure than that of the wild type protein. Overall, the results show that the M225K mutation abolishes and the R233W mutation tightens retinoid binding and both impair CRALBP function in the visual cycle as an 11-cis-retinol acceptor and as a substrate carrier.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12397-12402
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number14
StatePublished - Apr 4 2003
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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