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Mol Biol Cell. 2004 Jan;15(1):189-96. Epub 2003 Oct 17.

Disease-related myotubularins function in endocytic traffic in Caenorhabditis elegans.

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  • 1Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 85721, USA.


MTM1, MTMR2, and SBF2 belong to a family of proteins called the myotubularins. X-linked myotubular myopathy, a severe congenital disorder characterized by hypotonia and generalized muscle weakness in newborn males, is caused by mutations in MTM1 (Laporte et al., 1996). Charcot-Marie-Tooth types 4B1 and 4B2 are severe demyelinating neuropathies caused by mutations in MTMR2 (Bolino et al., 2000) and SBF2/MTMR13 (Senderek et al., 2003), respectively. Although several myotubularins are known to regulate phosphoinositide-phosphate levels in cells, little is known about the actual cellular process that is defective in patients with these diseases. Mutations in worm MTM-6 and MTM-9, myotubularins belonging to two subgroups, disorganize phosphoinositide 3-phosphate localization and block endocytosis in the coelomocytes of Caenorhabditis elegans. We demonstrate that MTM-6 and MTM-9 function as part of a complex to regulate an endocytic pathway that involves the Arf6 GTPase, and we define protein domains required for MTM-6 activity.

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