Therapeutic relevance of mTOR inhibition in murine succinate semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHD), a disorder of GABA metabolism

K. R. Vogel, G. R. Ainslie, E. E.W. Jansen, G. S. Salomons, K.M. Gibson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


Aldehyde dehydrogenase 5a1-deficient (aldh5a1−/−) mice, the murine orthologue of human succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (SSADHD), manifest increased GABA (4-aminobutyric acid) that disrupts autophagy, increases mitochondria number, and induces oxidative stress, all mitigated with the mTOR (mechanistic target of rapamycin) inhibitor rapamycin [1]. Because GABA regulates mTOR, we tested the hypothesis that aldh5a1−/− mice would show altered levels of mRNA for genes associated with mTOR signaling and oxidative stress that could be mitigated by inhibiting mTOR. We observed that multiple metabolites associated with GABA metabolism (γ-hydroxybutyrate, succinic semialdehyde, D-2-hydroxyglutarate, 4,5-dihydrohexanoate) and oxidative stress were significantly increased in multiple tissues derived from aldh5a1−/− mice. These metabolic perturbations were associated with decreased levels of reduced glutathione (GSH) in brain and liver of aldh5a1−/− mice, as well as increased levels of adducts of the lipid peroxidation by-product, 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (4-HNE). Decreased liver mRNA levels for multiple genes associated with mTOR signaling and oxidative stress parameters were detected in aldh5a1−/− mice, and several were significantly improved with the administration of mTOR inhibitors (Torin 1/Torin 2). Western blot analysis of selected proteins corresponding to oxidative stress transcripts (glutathione transferase, superoxide dismutase, peroxiredoxin 1) confirmed gene expression findings. Our data provide additional preclinical evidence for the potential therapeutic efficacy of mTOR inhibitors in SSADHD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-42
Number of pages10
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • GABA
  • Oxidative stress
  • Succinic semialdehyde dehydrogenase deficiency
  • Torin 1
  • Torin 2
  • mTOR

Cite this