• We describe the phenotypes of mouse models of X-linked Sideroblastic Anemia (XLSA), the SLC25A38 anemia, and X-linked Protoporphyria (XLPP)

  • XLSA and SLC25A38-CSA are conditionally synthetically lethal with pyridoxine deficiency

X-linked sideroblastic anemia (XLSA) and X-linked protoporphyria (XLPP) are uncommon diseases caused by loss-of-function and gain-of-function mutations, respectively, in the erythroid form of 5-aminolevulinic acid synthetase, ALAS2, which encodes the first enzyme in heme biosynthesis. A related sideroblastic anemia is due to mutations in SLC25A38, which supplies mitochondrial glycine for ALAS2 (SLC25A38-CSA). The lack of viable animal models has limited studies on the pathophysiology and development of therapies for these conditions. Here, using CRISPR-CAS9 gene editing technology, we have generated knock-in mouse models that recapitulate the main features of XLSA and XLPP, and, using conventional conditional gene targeting in embryonic stem cells, we also developed a faithful model of the SLC25A38-CSA. In addition to examining the phenotypes and natural history of each disease, we determine the effect of restriction or supplementation of dietary pyridoxine (vitamin B6), the essential cofactor of ALAS2, on the anemia and porphyria. In addition to the well-documented response of XLSA mutations to pyridoxine supplementation, we also demonstrate the relative insensitivity of the XLPP porphyria, severe sensitivity of the XLSA models, and an extreme hypersensitivity of the SLC25A38-CSA model to pyridoxine deficiency, a phenotype that is not shared with another mouse hereditary anemia model, Hbbth3/+ -thalassemia intermedia. Thus, in addition to generating animal models useful for examining the pathophysiology and treatment of these diseases, we have uncovered an unsuspected conditional synthetic lethality between the heme synthesis-related CSAs and pyridoxine deficiency. These findings have the potential to inform novel therapeutic paradigms for the treatment of these diseases.

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