Propionic acidemia (PA) is an inborn error of metabolism caused by the genetic deficiency of propionyl-CoA carboxylase (PCC). By disrupting the α-subunit gene of PCC, we created a mouse model of PA (PCCA -/-), which died in 24-36 h after birth due to accelerated ketoacidosis. A postnatal, liver-specific PCC expression via a transgene in a far lower level than that in wild-type liver, allowed PCCA-/- mice to survive the newborn and early infant periods, preventing a lethal fit of ketoacidosis (SAP+PCCA-/- mice). Interestingly, SAP +PCCA-/- mice, in which the transgene expression increased after the late infant period, continued to grow normally while mice harboring a persistent low level of PCC died in the late infant period due to severe ketoacidosis, clearly suggesting the requirement of increased PCC supplementation in proportion to the animal growth. Based on these results, we propose a two-step strategy to achieve an efficient PA prevention in human patients: a partial PCC supplementation in the liver during the newborn and early infant periods, followed by a larger amount of supplementation in the late infant period.
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