Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.525, No.4, 883-888, 2020
Implications of graded reductions in CLN6's anti-aggregate activity for the development of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses
CLN6, spanning the endoplasmic reticulum membrane, is a protein of unknown function. Mutations in the CLN6 gene are linked to an autosomal recessively inherited disorder termed CLN6 disease, classified as a form of the neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses (NCL). The pathogenesis of CLN6 disease remains poorly understood due to a lack of information about physiological roles CLN6 plays. We previously demonstrated that CLN6 has the ability to prevent protein aggregate formation, and thus hypothesized that the abrogation of CLN6's anti-aggregate activity underlies the development of CLN6 disease. To test this hypothesis, we narrowed down the region vital for CLN6's anti-aggregate activity, and subsequently investigated if pathogenic mutations within the region attenuate CLN6's anti-aggregate activity toward four aggregation-prone alpha B-crystallin (alpha BC) mutants. None of the four alpha BC mutants was prevented from aggregating by the Arg106ProfsX truncated CLN6 mutant, the human counterpart of the nclf mutant identified in a naturally occurring mouse model of late infantile-onset CLN6 disease. In contrast, the Arg149Cys and the Arg149His CLN6 mutants, both associated with adult-onset CLN6 disease, blocked aggregation of two out of and all of the four alpha BC mutants, respectively, indicating that CLN6's antiaggregate activity is differentially modulated according to the substitution pattern at the same amino acid position. Collectively, we here propose that the graded reduction in CLN6's anti-aggregate activity governs the clinical course of late infantile- and adult-onset NCL. (C) 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.