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Surprising culprit found in cell recycling defect
Date:2/20/2014

ows that the mutant phosphotransferase moves up but is not recaptured. Ironically, the phosphotransferase that escapes the Golgi ends up in the lysosomes, where it is degraded."

Because phosphotransferase gradually wanders away from the Golgi, a low level of lysosomal enzymes end up being properly addressed, but at perhaps 20 percent of the normal amount.

"In many lysosomal storage disorders, such as Tay-Sachs or Gaucher's disease, only one out of the 60 enzymes is missing from the lysosome," Kornfeld said. "But the mislocalization of phosphotranferase causes the misdirection of all 60 lysosomal enzymes."

While the errant phosphotransferase ends up being degraded in the lysosome, the resulting misdirected lysosomal proteins end up in the bloodstream. As a result, children with this disorder have lysosomal proteins in their blood at levels 10 to 20 times higher than normal. But because some get to the lysosome at a low level, people with mucolipidosis III don't have the most severe form of the disease.

"Type III patients live into adulthood, but they're very impaired," said Kornfeld. "They have joint and heart problems and have trouble walking. In the most severe form, type II, there is zero activity of phosphotransferase. None of the 60 enzymes are properly tagged, so these patients' lysosomes are empty. Children with type II usually die by age 10."

Having implicated wayward phosphotransferase in this lysosomal storage disorder, Kornfeld and his colleagues are investigating what goes wrong that allows it to escape the Golgi.

"We think there must be some protein in the cell that recognizes phosphotransferase when it gets to the end of the Golgi, binds it and takes it back," said Kornfeld. "Now we're trying to understand how that works."


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Contact: Julia Evangelou Strait
straitj@wustl.edu
314-286-0141
Washington University School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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