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Mol Cell Neurosci. 1997 Jan;9(1):13-25.

Aberrant protein trafficking in Trembler suggests a disease mechanism for hereditary human peripheral neuropathies.

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Department of Biology, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland.


The naturally occurring mouse mutant Trembler (Tr) represents an animal model for inherited human neuropathies caused by point mutations affecting peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22). We describe the likely pathogenic cellular mechanism underlying the observed myelin deficiency. In Tr/+ animals, PMP22 immunoreactivity was found not only in compact myelin but also abundantly in the cytoplasm of Schwann cells. Based on these observations, the biosynthesis of wildtype and Tr protein was examined in transfected cells. While wildtype PMP22 was readily transported to the plasma membrane, Tr protein was localized mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum. Coexpression revealed a dominant effect of Tr on protein trafficking of wildtype PMP22. In agreement with the findings in vitro, Tr protein was not detectable in myelin of Tr/0 mice.

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