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A pseudoautosomal glycosylation disorder prompts the revision of dolichol biosynthesis

Dolichol is a lipid critical for N-glycosylation as a carrier for activated sugars and nascent oligosaccharides. It is commonly thought to be directly produced from polyprenol by the enzyme SRD5A3. Instead, we found that dolichol synthesis requires a three-step detour involving additional metabolites, where SRD5A3 catalyzes only the second reaction. The first and third steps are performed by DHRSX, whose gene resides on the pseudoautosomal regions of the X and Y chromosomes. Accordingly, we report a pseudoautosomal-recessive disease presenting as a congenital disorder of glycosylation in patients with missense variants in DHRSX (DHRSX-CDG). Of note, DHRSX has a unique dual substrate and cofactor specificity, allowing it to act as a NAD+-dependent dehydrogenase and as a NADPH-dependent reductase in two non-consecutive steps. Thus, our work reveals unexpected complexity in the terminal steps of dolichol biosynthesis. Furthermore, we provide insights into the mechanism by which dolichol metabolism defects contribute to disease.