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Biol Cell. 2004 Dec;96(9):701-11.

TPPP/p25: from unfolded protein to misfolding disease: prediction and experiments.

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Institute of Enzymology, Biological Research Centre, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Karolina út 29, 1113 Budapest, Hungary.


TPPP/p25, the first representative of a new protein family, identified as a brain-specific unfolded protein induces aberrant microtubule assemblies in vitro, suppresses mitosis in Drosophila embryo and is accumulated in inclusion bodies of human pathological brain tissues. In this paper, we present prediction and additional experimental data that validate TPPP/p25 to be a new member of the "intrinsically unstructured" protein family. The comparison of these characteristics with that of alpha-synuclein and tau, involved also in neurodegenerative diseases, suggested that although the primary sequences of these proteins are entirely different, there are similarities in their well-defined unstructured segments interrupted by "stabilization centres", phosphorylation and tubulin binding motives. SK-N-MC neuroblastoma cells were transfected with pEGFP-TPPP/p25 construct and a stable clone denoted K4 was selected and used to establish the effect of this unstructured protein on the energy state/metabolism of the cells. Our data by analyzing the mitochondrial membrane polarization by fluorescence microscopy revealed that the high-energy phosphate production in K4 clone is not damaged by the TPPP/p25 expression. Biochemical analysis with cell homogenates provided quantitative data that the ATP level increased 1.5-fold and the activities of hexokinase, glucosephosphate isomerase, phosphofructokinase, triosephosphate isomerase and glyceraldehyde-3-phosphate dehydrogenase were 1.2 to 2.0-fold higher in K4 as compared to the control. Our modelling using these data and rate equations of the individual enzymes suggests that the TPPP/p25 expression stimulates glucose metabolism. At pathological conditions TPPP/p25 is localized in inclusion bodies in multiple system atrophy, it tightly co-localizes with alpha-synuclein, partially with tubulin and not with vimentin. The previous and the present studies obtained with immunohistochemistry with pathological human brain tissues rendered it possible to classify among pathological inclusions on the basis of immunolabelling of TPPP/p25, and suggest this protein to be a potential linkage between Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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