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J Neurochem. 2011 Apr;117(1):121-32. doi: 10.1111/j.1471-4159.2011.07179.x. Epub 2011 Feb 9.

Intracellular trafficking and secretion of cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor in neurosecretory cells.

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Department of Neurobiology, Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Mental Disorders, School of Medicine, Shandong University, Jinan, Shandong, China.


Cerebral dopamine neurotrophic factor (CDNF) is a novel evolutionary conserved protein which can protect and restore the function of dopaminergic neurons in the rat model of Parkinson's disease, suggesting that CDNF might be beneficial for the treatment of Parkinson's disease. CDNF is widely expressed in neurons in several brain regions including cerebral cortex, hippocampus, substantia nigra, striatum and cerebellum. Human CDNF is glycosylated and secreted from transiently transfected cells; however, the mechanism underlying CDNF secretion is currently unclear. In this study, we found that CDNF could be secreted primarily via the regulated secretion pathway in PC12 cells. The glycosylation of CDNF is not required for its secretion. Moreover, we identified two key subdomains in CDNF which are important for its intracellular localization and secretion. Disrupting helix-1 of CDNF significantly reduces its constitutive and regulated secretion and the helix-1 mutant is retained in the endoplasmic reticulum. Although helix-7 mutation only decreases CDNF regulated secretion and has no effect on its constitutive secretion, which is further supported by the reduction in co-localization of helix-7 mutant with secretory granules. In all, these findings will advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism of CDNF trafficking and secretion.

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