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Hum Mol Genet. 2007 Mar 15;16(6):678-90. Epub 2007 Mar 6.

Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 associates with lipid rafts.

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Department of Neurology, Juntendo University School of Medicine, Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan.


Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) is a causative gene for the autosomal dominant form of Parkinson's disease (PD). The gene encodes the approximately 280 kDa LRRK2 protein composed of domains such as leucine-rich repeats, Ras in complex proteins (Roc) followed by C-terminal of Roc (COR), mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase (MAPKKK) and WD40. However, the normal function of the protein as well as its contribution to the pathogenesis of PD remains largely unknown. Here we describe the localization of LRRK2 in Golgi apparatus, plasma membrane and synaptic vesicles in cultured cells including mouse primary neurons. The membrane association of LRRK2 resists solubilization by ice-cold 1% Triton X-100, indicating its association through lipid rafts. To investigate whether mutations found in PD patients affect the localization of LRRK2, we transfected various LRRK2 mutants into cultured cells and performed fractionation experiments. Unexpectedly, the mutants are collected in both membrane and soluble fractions in a manner similar to wild type (WT). I2020T mutant LRRK2 associates with lipid rafts, similar to the WT. The lipid raft association of LRRK2 mutants as well as WT LRRK2 suggests that alteration of LRRK2 function on lipid rafts contributes to the pathogenesis of PD.

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