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Motor protein binding and mitochondrial transport are altered by pathogenic TUBB4A variants


Mutations in TUBB4A have been identified to cause a wide phenotypic spectrum of diseases ranging from hereditary generalized dystonia with whispering dysphonia (DYT-TUBB4A) and hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) to leukodystrophy hypomyelination with atrophy of the basal ganglia and cerebellum (H-ABC). TUBB4A encodes the brain-specific beta-tubulin isotype, beta-tubulin 4A. To elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms conferred by TUBB4A mutations leading to the different phenotypes, we functionally characterized three pathogenic TUBB4A variants (c.4C>G,p.R2G; c.745G>A,p.D249N; c.811G>A, p.A271T) as representatives of the mutational and disease spectrum) in human neuroblastoma cells and human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons. We showed that mRNA stability was not affected by any of the TUBB4A variants. Although two mutations (p.R2G and p.D249N) are located at the alpha/beta-tubulin interdimer interface, we confirmed incorporation of all TUBB4A mutants into the microtubule network. However, we showed that the mutations p.D249N and p.A271T interfered with motor protein binding to microtubules and impaired neurite outgrowth and microtubule dynamics. Finally, TUBB4A mutations, as well as heterozygous knockout of TUBB4A, disrupted mitochondrial transport in iPSC-derived neurons. Taken together, our findings suggest that functional impairment of microtubule-associated transport is a shared pathogenic mechanism by which the TUBB4A mutations studied here cause a spectrum of diseases.

Type Journal
ISBN 1098-1004 (Electronic) 1059-7794 (Linking)
Authors Vulinovic, F.; Krajka, V.; Hausrat, T. J.; Seibler, P.; Alvarez-Fischer, D.; Madoev, H.; Park, J. S.; Kumar, K. R.; Sue, C. M.; Lohmann, K.; Kneussel, M.; Klein, C.; Rakovic, A.
Responsible Garvan Author Dr Kishore Kumar
Published Date 2018-12-01
Published Volume 39
Published Issue 12
Published Pages 1901-1915
Status Always Electronic
DOI 10.1002/humu.23602
URL link to publisher's version