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Hum Mol Genet. 2017 Nov 1;26(21):4215-4230. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddx311.

The Prader-Willi syndrome proteins MAGEL2 and necdin regulate leptin receptor cell surface abundance through ubiquitination pathways.

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Department of Medical Genetics, University of Alberta, Edmonton T6G 2H7, Canada.
Department of Biochemistry, VIB Center for Medical Biotechnology and Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Ghent University, B-9000 Ghent, Belgium.


In Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS), obesity is caused by the disruption of appetite-controlling pathways in the brain. Two PWS candidate genes encode MAGEL2 and necdin, related melanoma antigen proteins that assemble into ubiquitination complexes. Mice lacking Magel2 are obese and lack leptin sensitivity in hypothalamic pro-opiomelanocortin neurons, suggesting dysregulation of leptin receptor (LepR) activity. Hypothalamus from Magel2-null mice had less LepR and altered levels of ubiquitin pathway proteins that regulate LepR processing (Rnf41, Usp8, and Stam1). MAGEL2 increased the cell surface abundance of LepR and decreased their degradation. LepR interacts with necdin, which interacts with MAGEL2, which complexes with RNF41 and USP8. Mutations in the MAGE homology domain of MAGEL2 suppress RNF41 stabilization and prevent the MAGEL2-mediated increase of cell surface LepR. Thus, MAGEL2 and necdin together control LepR sorting and degradation through a dynamic ubiquitin-dependent pathway. Loss of MAGEL2 and necdin may uncouple LepR from ubiquitination pathways, providing a cellular mechanism for obesity in PWS.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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