Primary cilia are vital signaling organelles that extend from most types of cells, including neurons and glia. These structures are essential for the development of many tissues and organs, however, their function in adult tissues, particularly neurons in the brain, remains largely unknown. Tau tubulin kinase 2 (TTBK2) is a critical regulator of ciliogenesis, and is also mutated in a hereditary neurodegenerative disorder, spinocerebellar ataxia type 11 (SCA11). Here, we show that conditional knockout of Ttbk2 in adult mice results in degenerative cerebellar phenotypes that recapitulate aspects of SCA11 including motor coordination deficits and defects to Purkinje cell (PC) integrity. We also find that the Ttbk2 conditional mutant mice quickly lose cilia throughout the brain. We show that conditional knockout of the key ciliary trafficking gene Ift88 in adult mice results in nearly identical cerebellar phenotypes to those of the Ttbk2 knockout, indicating that disruption of ciliary signaling is a key driver of these phenotypes. Our data suggest that primary cilia play an integral role in maintaining the function of PCs in the adult cerebellum and reveal novel insights into mechanisms involved in neurodegeneration.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Sarah C Goetz
- Sarah C Goetz
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: This study was performed in strict accordance with the recommendations in the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals of the National Institutes of Health. All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee (IACUC) protocols (Protocol #A218-17-09) of Duke University. Every effort was made to minimize animal suffering
- Jeremy F Reiter, University of California, San Francisco, United States
© 2020, Bowie & Goetz
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
The ATPase p97 (also known as VCP, Cdc48) has crucial functions in a variety of important cellular processes such as protein quality control, organellar homeostasis, and DNA damage repair, and its de-regulation is linked to neuromuscular diseases and cancer. p97 is tightly controlled by numerous regulatory cofactors, but the full range and function of the p97–cofactor network is unknown. Here, we identify the hitherto uncharacterized FAM104 proteins as a conserved family of p97 interactors. The two human family members VCP nuclear cofactor family member 1 and 2 (VCF1/2) bind p97 directly via a novel, alpha-helical motif and associate with p97-UFD1-NPL4 and p97-UBXN2B complexes in cells. VCF1/2 localize to the nucleus and promote the nuclear import of p97. Loss of VCF1/2 results in reduced nuclear p97 levels, slow growth, and hypersensitivity to chemical inhibition of p97 in the absence and presence of DNA damage, suggesting that FAM104 proteins are critical regulators of nuclear p97 functions.
The amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients’ brains contain collagens and are embedded extracellularly. Several collagens have been proposed to influence Aβ aggregate formation, yet their role in clearance is unknown. To investigate the potential role of collagens in forming and clearance of extracellular aggregates in vivo, we created a transgenic Caenorhabditis elegans strain that expresses and secretes human Aβ1-42. This secreted Aβ forms aggregates in two distinct places within the extracellular matrix. In a screen for extracellular human Aβ aggregation regulators, we identified different collagens to ameliorate or potentiate Aβ aggregation. We show that a disintegrin and metalloprotease a disintegrin and metalloprotease 2 (ADM-2), an ortholog of ADAM9, reduces the load of extracellular Aβ aggregates. ADM-2 is required and sufficient to remove the extracellular Aβ aggregates. Thus, we provide in vivo evidence of collagens essential for aggregate formation and metalloprotease participating in extracellular Aβ aggregate removal.