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Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Sep 15;26(18):3520-3530. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx237.

The neurosteroid pregnenolone reverts microtubule derangement induced by the loss of a functional CDKL5-IQGAP1 complex.

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Department of Biotechnology and Life Sciences and Center of Neuroscience, University of Insubria, 21052 Busto Arsizio, Italy.
Department of Medical Biotechnology and Translational Medicine, University of Milan, 20129 Milan, Italy.


CDKL5 is a protein kinase that plays a key role for neuronal functions as testified by the onset of complex neuronal dysfunctions in patients with genetic lesions in CDKL5. Here we identify a novel interactor of CDKL5, IQGAP1, a fundamental regulator of cell migration and polarity. In accordance with a functional role of this interaction, depletion of CDKL5 impairs cell migration and impedes the localization of IQGAP1 at the leading edge. Moreover, we demonstrate that CDKL5 is required for IQGAP1 to form a functional complex with its effectors, Rac1 and the microtubule plus end tracking protein CLIP170. These defects eventually impact on the microtubule association of CLIP170, thus deranging their dynamics. CLIP170 is a cellular target of the neurosteroid pregnenolone; by blocking CLIP170 in its active conformation, pregnenolone is capable of restoring the microtubule association of CLIP170 in CDKL5 deficient cells and rescuing morphological defects in neurons devoid of CDKL5. These findings provide novel insights into CDKL5 functions and pave the way for target-specific therapeutic strategies for individuals affected with CDKL5-disorder.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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