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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Oct 1;322(4):1384-91.

Functional links between mucolipin-1 and Ca2+-dependent membrane trafficking in mucolipidosis IV.

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Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension and Membrane Biology Program, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Most of the membrane trafficking phenomena including those involving the interactions between endosomes and lysosomes are regulated by changes in intracellular Ca2+ (Cai). These processes are disturbed in some types of mucolipidoses and other lysosomal storage disorders, such as mucolipidosis IV (MLIV), a neurological disorder that usually presents during the first year of life with blindness, cognitive impairment, and psychomotor delays. It is caused by mutations in MCOLN1, the gene encoding mucolipin-1 (MLN1), which we have recently established to represent a Ca2+-permeable cation channel that is transiently modulated by changes in Cai. The cells of MLIV patients contain enlarged lysosomes that are likely associated with abnormal sorting and trafficking of these and related organelles. We studied fibroblasts from MLIV patients and found disturbed Ca2+ signaling and large acidic organelles such as late endosomes and lysosomes (LEL) with altered cellular localization in these cells. The fusion between LEL vesicles in these cells was defective. This is a Ca2+-dependent process related to signaling pathways involved in regulation of Ca2+ homeostasis and trafficking. The MLN1 channels could play a key role in Ca2+ release from LEL vesicles, which triggers the fusion and trafficking of these organelles. The characterization of this MLN1-mediated Ca2+-dependent process should provide new insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms that lead to the development of MLIV and other mucolipidoses associated with similar disturbances in membrane trafficking.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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