Background. Congenital disorders of glycosylation (CDG) are rare diseases with impaired glycosylation and multiorgan disfunction, including hemostatic and inflammatory disorders. Factor XII (FXII), the first element of the contact phase, has an emerging role in hemostasia and inflammation. FXII deficiency protects against thrombosis and the p.Thr309Lys variant is involved in hereditary angioedema through the hyperreactivity caused by the associated defective O-glycosylation. We studied FXII in CDG aiming to supply further information of the glycosylation of this molecule, and its functional and clinical effects. Plasma FXII from 46 PMM2-CDG patients was evaluated by coagulometric and by Western Blot in basal conditions, treated with N-glycosydase F or activated by silica or dextran sulfate. A recombinant FXII expression model was used to validate the secretion and glycosylation of wild-type and variants targeting the two described FXII N-glycosylation sites (p.Asn230Lys; p.Asn414Lys) as well as the p.Thr309Lys variant.
Results. PMM2-CDG patients had normal FXII levels (117%) but high proportions of a form lacking N-glycosylation at Asn414. Recombinant FXII p.Asn230Lys, and p.Asn230Lys&p.Asn414Lys had impaired secretion and increased intracellular retention compared to wild-type, p.Thr309Lys and p.Asn414Lys variants. The hypoglycosylated form of PMM2-CDG activated similarly than FXII fully glycosylated. Accordingly, no PMM2-CDG had angioedema. FXII levels did not associate to vascular events, but hypoglycosylated FXII, like hypoglycosylated transferrin, antithrombin and FXI levels did it.
Conclusions. N-glycosylation at Asn230 is essential for FXII secretion. PMM2-CDG have high levels of FXII lacking N-glycosylation at Asn414, but this glycoform displays similar activation than fully glycosylated, explaining the absence of angioedema in CDG.