Congenital lactose intolerance is triggered by severe mutations on both alleles of the lactase gene
The pig intestinal brush border enzymes aminopeptidase N (EC 18.104.22.168) and lactase-phlorizin hydrolase (EC 22.214.171.124-62) are present in the microvillar membrane as homodimers. Dimethyl adipimidate was used to cross-link the two [35S]methionine-labeled brush border enzymes from cultured mucosal explants. For aminopeptidase N, dimerization did not begin until 5-10 min after synthesis, and maximal dimerization by cross-linking of the transient form of the enzyme required 1 h, whereas the mature form of aminopeptidase N cross-linked with unchanged efficiency from 45 min to 3 h of labeling. Formation of dimers of this enzyme therefore occurs prior to the Golgi-associated processing, and the slow rate of dimerization may be the rate-limiting step in the transport from the endoplasmic reticulum to the Golgi complex. For lactase-phlorizin hydrolase, the posttranslational processing includes a proteolytic cleavage of its high molecular weight precursor. Since only the mature form and not the precursor of this enzyme could be cross-linked, formation of tightly associated dimers only takes place after transport out of the endoplasmic reticulum. Dimerization of the two brush border enzymes therefore seems to occur in different organelles of the enterocyte.