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Acta Neuropathol. 2007 Oct;114(4):403-10. Epub 2007 Jul 13.

MLC1 is associated with the dystrophin-glycoprotein complex at astrocytic endfeet.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics/Child Neurology, VU University Medical Center, De Boelelaan 1117, 1081 HV Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


Megalencephalic leukoencephalopathy with subcortical cysts (MLC) is a progressive cerebral white matter disease with onset in childhood, caused by mutations in the MLC1 gene. MLC1 is a protein with unknown function that is mainly expressed in the brain in astrocytic endfeet at the blood-brain and cerebrospinal fluid-brain barriers. It shares its localization at astrocytic endfeet with the dystrophin-associated glycoprotein complex (DGC). The objective of the present study was to investigate the possible association of MLC1 with the DGC. To test this hypothesis, (co)-localization of DGC-proteins and MLC1 was analyzed by immunohistochemical stainings in gliotic brain tissue from a patient with multiple sclerosis, in glioblastoma tissue and in brain tissue from an MLC patient. In control tissue, a direct protein interaction was tested by immunoprecipitation. Results revealed that MLC1 is co-localized with DGC-proteins in gliotic brain tissue. We demonstrated that both MLC1 and aquaporin-4, a member of the DGC, were redistributed in glioblastoma cells. In MLC brain tissue, we showed absence of MLC1 and altered expression of several DGC-proteins. We demonstrated a direct protein interaction between MLC1 and Kir4.1. From these results we conclude that MLC1 is associated with the DGC at astrocytic endfeet.

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