A mutation in human VAP-B—MSP domain, present in ALS patients, affects the interaction with other cellular proteins

M Mitne-Neto, C R R Ramos, D C Pimenta, J S Luz, A L Nishimura, F A Gonzales, C C Oliveira, M Zatz
Protein Expression and Purification 2007, 55 (1): 139-46
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is the most common adult-onset Motor Neuron Disease (MND), characterized by motor neurons death in the cortex, brainstem and spinal cord. Ten loci linked to Familial ALS have been mapped. ALS8 is caused by a substitution of a proline by a serine in the Vesicle-Associated Membrane Protein-Associated protein-B/C (VAP-B/C). VAP-B belongs to a highly conserved family of proteins implicated in Endoplasmic Reticulum-Golgi and intra-Golgi transport and microtubules stabilization. Previous studies demonstrated that the P56S mutation disrupts the subcellular localization of VAP-B and that this position would be essential for Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) induced by VAP-B. In the present work we expressed and purified recombinant wild-type and P56S mutant VAP-B-MSP domain for the analysis of its interactions with other cellular proteins. Our findings suggest that the P56S mutation may lead to a less stable interaction of this endoplasmic reticulum protein with at least two other proteins: tubulin and GAPDH. These two proteins have been previously related to other forms of neurodegenerative diseases and are potential key points to understand ALS8 pathogenesis and other forms of MND. Understanding the role of these protein interactions may help the treatment of this devastating disease in the future.

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