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Mol Biol Cell. 2009 Mar;20(5):1478-92. doi: 10.1091/mbc.E08-07-0726. Epub 2009 Jan 14.

Mutant huntingtin impairs post-Golgi trafficking to lysosomes by delocalizing optineurin/Rab8 complex from the Golgi apparatus.

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Departament de Biologia Cellular, Immunologia i Neurociències, Facultat de Medicina, IDIBAPS, Universitat de Barcelona, E-08036 Barcelona, Spain.


Huntingtin regulates post-Golgi trafficking of secreted proteins. Here, we studied the mechanism by which mutant huntingtin impairs this process. Colocalization studies and Western blot analysis of isolated Golgi membranes showed a reduction of huntingtin in the Golgi apparatus of cells expressing mutant huntingtin. These findings correlated with a decrease in the levels of optineurin and Rab8 in the Golgi apparatus that can be reverted by overexpression of full-length wild-type huntingtin. In addition, immunoprecipitation studies showed reduced interaction between mutant huntingtin and optineurin/Rab8. Cells expressing mutant huntingtin produced both an accumulation of clathrin adaptor complex 1 at the Golgi and an increase of clathrin-coated vesicles in the vicinity of Golgi cisternae as revealed by electron microscopy. Furthermore, inverse fluorescence recovery after photobleaching analysis for lysosomal-associated membrane protein-1 and mannose-6-phosphate receptor showed that the optineurin/Rab8-dependent post-Golgi trafficking to lysosomes was impaired in cells expressing mutant huntingtin or reducing huntingtin levels by small interfering RNA. Accordingly, these cells showed a lower content of cathepsin D in lysosomes, which led to an overall reduction of lysosomal activity. Together, our results indicate that mutant huntingtin perturbs post-Golgi trafficking to lysosomal compartments by delocalizing the optineurin/Rab8 complex, which, in turn, affects the lysosomal function.

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