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Eur J Neurosci. 2002 Oct;16(8):1507-16.

Mutation in hotfoot-4J mice results in retention of delta2 glutamate receptors in ER.

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Department of Developmental Neurobiology, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Memphis, TN 38105, USA.


The orphan glutamate receptor delta2 is selectively expressed in Purkinje cells and plays a critical role in cerebellar function. Recently, the ataxia of hotfoot-4J (ho-4J) mice was shown to be caused by a 170-amino acid deletion in the N-terminal region of delta2 receptors. To understand delta2 receptor function, we characterized these mutant receptors (delta2ho) in Purkinje cells. Immunohistochemical staining showed that delta2ho receptors of the ho-4J homozygotes were abundantly expressed but localized to the Purkinje cell soma; in wild-type mice, delta2 receptors were predominantly present at distal dendrites of Purkinje cells. In addition, delta2ho receptors of the ho-4J mice were sensitive to endoglycosidase H, a finding suggesting that delta2ho receptors were not transported beyond the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or cis-Golgi apparatus. To gain further insights into the mechanisms of this phenomenon, we characterized delta2ho receptors in transfected HEK293 cells. delta2ho receptors expressed in HEK293 cells were also sensitive to endoglycosidase H. Immunohistochemical staining showed that delta2ho receptors colocalized with proteins retained in the ER. Furthermore, delta2ho receptors were not labelled by membrane-impermeable biotinylation reagents. Coimmunoprecipitation assays showed that the intermolecular interaction of delta2ho receptors was significantly weaker than those of wild-type delta2 receptors, a finding suggesting that the ho-4J region is involved in oligomerization of delta2 receptors. Thus, delta2ho receptors were retained in the ER, probably by the quality control mechanism that detects unstable oligomers. We conclude that the absence of delta2 receptors on the cell surface by failed transport from the ER of Purkinje cells causes ataxia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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