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Cell Death Differ. 2009 Mar;16(3):428-38. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2008.169. Epub 2008 Nov 21.

Aggresome-forming TTRAP mediates pro-apoptotic properties of Parkinson's disease-associated DJ-1 missense mutations.

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Sector of Neurobiology, International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA), AREA Science Park, Basovizza, Trieste 34012, Italy.


Mutations in PARK7 DJ-1 have been associated with autosomal-recessive early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). This gene encodes for an atypical peroxiredoxin-like peroxidase that may act as a regulator of transcription and a redox-dependent chaperone. Although large gene deletions have been associated with a loss-of-function phenotype, the pathogenic mechanism of several missense mutations is less clear. By performing a yeast two-hybrid screening from a human fetal brain library, we identified TRAF and TNF receptor-associated protein (TTRAP), an ubiquitin-binding domain-containing protein, as a novel DJ-1 interactor, which was able to bind the PD-associated mutations M26I and L166P more strongly than wild type. TTRAP protected neuroblastoma cells from apoptosis induced by proteasome impairment. In these conditions, endogenous TTRAP relocalized to a detergent-insoluble fraction and formed cytoplasmic aggresome-like structures. Interestingly, both DJ-1 mutants blocked the TTRAP protective activity unmasking a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)- and p38-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)-mediated apoptosis. These results suggest an active role of DJ-1 missense mutants in the control of cell death and position TTRAP as a new player in the arena of neurodegeneration.

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