Send to

Choose Destination
ACS Chem Biol. 2010 May 21;5(5):477-87. doi: 10.1021/cb900282e.

Rescue of glaucoma-causing mutant myocilin thermal stability by chemical chaperones.

Author information

Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, 30332, USA.


Mutations in myocilin cause an inherited form of open angle glaucoma, a prevalent neurodegenerative disorder associated with increased intraocular pressure. Myocilin forms part of the trabecular meshwork extracellular matrix presumed to regulate intraocular pressure. Missense mutations, clustered in the olfactomedin (OLF) domain of myocilin, render the protein prone to aggregation in the endoplasmic reticulum of trabecular meshwork cells, causing cell dysfunction and death. Cellular studies have demonstrated temperature-sensitive secretion of myocilin mutants, but difficulties in expression and purification have precluded biophysical characterization of wild-type (wt) myocilin and disease-causing mutants in vitro. We have overcome these limitations by purifying wt and select glaucoma-causing mutant (D380A, I477N, I477S, K423E) forms of the OLF domain (228-504) fused to a maltose binding protein (MBP) from E. coli . Monomeric fusion proteins can be isolated in solution. To determine the relative stability of wt and mutant OLF domains, we developed a fluorescence thermal stability assay without removal of MBP and provide the first direct evidence that mutated OLF is folded but less thermally stable than wt. We tested the ability of seven chemical chaperones to stabilize mutant myocilin. Only sarcosine and trimethylamine N-oxide were capable of shifting the melting temperature of all mutants tested to near that of wt OLF. Our work lays the foundation for the identification of tailored small molecules capable of stabilizing mutant myocilin and promoting secretion to the extracellular matrix, to better control intraocular pressure and to ultimately delay the onset of myocilin glaucoma.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Chemical Society Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center