Certain mutations in the ALDH7A1 gene cause pyridoxine-dependent epilepsy (PDE), an autosomal recessive metabolic disease characterized by seizures, and in some cases, intellectual disability. The mutational spectrum of PDE is vast and includes over 70 missense mutations. This review summarizes the current state of biochemical and biophysical research on the impact of PDE missense mutations on the structure and catalytic activity of ALDH7A1. Paradoxically, some mutations that target active site residues have a relatively modest impact on structure and function, while those remote from the active site can have profound effects. For example, missense mutations targeting remote residues in oligomer interfaces tend to strongly impact catalytic function by inhibiting formation of the active tetramer. These results shows that it remains very difficult to predict the impact of missense mutations, even when the structure of the wild-type enzyme is known. Additional biophysical analyses of many more disease-causing mutations are needed to develop the rules for predicting the impact of genetic mutations on enzyme structure and catalytic function. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier B.V. and Société Française de Biochimie et Biologie Moléculaire (SFBBM). All rights reserved.