Craig Blackstone

National Institutes of Health, 베서스다, Maryland, United States

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Publications (76)511.94 Total impact

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    Daniel J Klionsky · Kotb Abdelmohsen · Akihisa Abe · Md Joynal Abedin · Hagai Abeliovich · Abraham Acevedo Arozena · Hiroaki Adachi · Christopher M Adams · Peter D Adams · Khosrow Adeli · [...] · Xiao-Feng Zhu · Yuhua Zhu · Shi-Mei Zhuang · Xiaohong Zhuang · Elio Ziparo · Christos E Zois · Teresa Zoladek · Wei-Xing Zong · Antonio Zorzano · Susu M Zughaier ·
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    ABSTRACT: In 2008 we published the first set of guidelines for standardizing research in autophagy. Since then, research on this topic has continued to accelerate, and many new scientists have entered the field. Our knowledge base and relevant new technologies have also been expanding. Accordingly, it is important to update these guidelines for monitoring autophagy in different organisms. Various reviews have described the range of assays that have been used for this purpose. Nevertheless, there continues to be confusion regarding acceptable methods to measure autophagy, especially in multicellular eukaryotes. For example, a key point that needs to be emphasized is that there is a difference between measurements that monitor the numbers or volume of autophagic elements (e.g., autophagosomes or autolysosomes) at any stage of the autophagic process versus those that measure flux through the autophagy pathway (i.e., the complete process including the amount and rate of cargo sequestered and degraded). In particular, a block in macroautophagy that results in autophagosome accumulation must be differentiated from stimuli that increase autophagic activity, defined as increased autophagy induction coupled with increased delivery to, and degradation within, lysosomes (in most higher eukaryotes and some protists such as Dictyostelium) or the vacuole (in plants and fungi). In other words, it is especially important that investigators new to the field understand that the appearance of more autophagosomes does not necessarily equate with more autophagy. In fact, in many cases, autophagosomes accumulate because of a block in trafficking to lysosomes without a concomitant change in autophagosome biogenesis, whereas an increase in autolysosomes may reflect a reduction in degradative activity. It is worth emphasizing here that lysosomal digestion is a stage of autophagy and evaluating its competence is a crucial part of the evaluation of autophagic flux, or complete autophagy. Here, we present a set of guidelines for the selection and interpretation of methods for use by investigators who aim to examine macroautophagy and related processes, as well as for reviewers who need to provide realistic and reasonable critiques of papers that are focused on these processes. These guidelines are not meant to be a formulaic set of rules, because the appropriate assays depend in part on the question being asked and the system being used. In addition, we emphasize that no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate one in every situation, and we strongly recommend the use of multiple assays to monitor autophagy. Along these lines, because of the potential for pleiotropic effects due to blocking autophagy through genetic manipulation, it is imperative to target by gene knockout or RNA interference more than one autophagy-related protein. In addition, some individual Atg proteins, or groups of proteins, are involved in other cellular pathways implying that not all Atg proteins can be used as a specific marker for an autophagic process. In these guidelines, we consider these various methods of assessing autophagy and what information can, or cannot, be obtained from them. Finally, by discussing the merits and limits of particular assays, we hope to encourage technical innovation in the field.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2016 · Autophagy
  • Benoît Renvoisé · Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: Voluntary movement in humans is mediated by the pyramidal motor system, a tortuous central nervous system pathway comprising long corticospinal and lower motor neurons. The hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders with the defining feature of lower extremity spasticity and weakness, resulting from a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal upper motor neurons. HSPs are among the most genetically diverse neurological disorders, with nearly 60 distinct genetic loci; over 30 genes have already been identified. The HSPs can exist in pure forms or with a number of associated neurological and extra-neurological features. Recent studies elucidating the pathogenesis underlying HSPs have highlighted the importance of basic cellular functions, especially membrane traffic, organelle shaping, and lipid/cholesterol metabolism, in axonal development and maintenance. A small number of converging cellular pathogenic themes have been identified for the most common HSPs, and some of these pathways represent compelling targets for future therapies.
    No preview · Chapter · Dec 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Adaptor proteins (AP 1-5) are heterotetrameric complexes that facilitate specialized cargo sorting in vesicular-mediated trafficking. Mutations in AP5Z1, encoding a subunit of the AP-5 complex, have been reported to cause hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), although their impact at the cellular level has not been assessed.Here we characterize three independent fibroblast lines derived from skin biopsies of patients harbouring nonsense mutations in AP5Z1 and presenting with spastic paraplegia accompanied by neuropathy, parkinsonism or and/or cognitive impairment. In all three patient-derived lines we show that there is complete loss of AP-5 ζ protein and a reduction in the associated AP-5 µ5 protein. Using ultrastructural analysis we show that these patient-derived lines consistently exhibit abundant multilamellar structures that are positive for markers of endolysosomes and are filled with aberrant storage material organised as exaggerated multilamellar whorls, striated belts and 'fingerprint bodies'. This phenotype can be replicated in a HeLa cell culture model by siRNA knockdown of AP-5 ζ. The cellular phenotype bears striking resemblance to features described in a number of lysosomal storage diseases.Collectively, these findings reveal an emerging picture of the role of AP-5 in endosomal and lysosomal homeostasis, illuminates a potential pathomechanism which is relevant to the role of AP-5 in neurons, and expands the understanding of recessive HSPs. Moreover, the resulting accumulation of storage material in endolysosomes leads us to propose that AP-5 deficiency represents a new type of lysosomal storage disease. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Cx3cr1, the receptor for the chemokine Cx3cl1 (fractalkine), has been implicated in the progression and severity of Alzheimer's disease-like pathology in mice, but the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. A complicating factor is that Cx3cr1 has been demonstrated in both neurons and microglia. Here, we have dissected the differences between neuronal and microglial Cx3cr1, specifically by comparing direct amyloid-β-induced toxicity in cultured, mature, microglia-depleted hippocampal neurons from wild-type and Cx3cr1-/- mice. Wild-type neurons expressed both Cx3cl1 and Cx3cr1 and released Cx3cl1 in response to amyloid-β. Knockout of neuronal Cx3cr1 abated amyloid-β-induced lactate dehydrogenase release. Furthermore, amyloid-β differentially induced depression of pre- and postsynaptic components of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents, in a peptide conformation-dependent manner. Knockout of neuronal Cx3cr1 abated effects of both amyloid-β conformational states, which were differentiable by aggregation kinetics and peptide morphology. We obtained similar results after both acute and chronic treatment of cultured neurons with the Cx3cr1 antagonist F1. Thus, neuronal Cx3cr1 may impact Alzheimer's disease-like pathology by modulating conformational state-dependent amyloid-β-induced synaptotoxicity.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · PLoS ONE
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    ABSTRACT: The family of genes implicated in hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) is quickly expanding, mostly owing to the widespread availability of next-generation DNA sequencing methods. Nevertheless, a genetic diagnosis remains unavailable for many patients. To identify the genetic cause for a novel form of pure autosomal dominant HSP. We examined and followed up with a family presenting to a tertiary referral center for evaluation of HSP for a decade until August 2014. Whole-exome sequencing was performed in 4 patients from the same family and was integrated with linkage analysis. Sanger sequencing was used to confirm the presence of the candidate variant in the remaining affected and unaffected members of the family and screen the additional patients with HSP. Five affected and 6 unaffected participants from a 3-generation family with pure adult-onset autosomal dominant HSP of unknown genetic origin were included. Additionally, 163 unrelated participants with pure HSP of unknown genetic cause were screened. Mutation in the neuronal isoform of carnitine palmitoyl-transferase (CPT1C) gene. We identified the nucleotide substitution c.109C>T in exon 3 of CPT1C, which determined the base substitution of an evolutionarily conserved Cys residue for an Arg in the gene product. This variant strictly cosegregated with the disease phenotype and was absent in online single-nucleotide polymorphism databases and in 712 additional exomes of control participants. We showed that CPT1C, which localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum, is expressed in motor neurons and interacts with atlastin-1, an endoplasmic reticulum protein encoded by the ATL1 gene known to be mutated in pure HSPs. The mutation, as indicated by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy studies, alters the protein conformation and reduces the mean (SD) number (213.0 [46.99] vs 81.9 [14.2]; P < .01) and size (0.29 [0.01] vs 0.26 [0.01]; P < .05) of lipid droplets on overexpression in cells. We also observed a reduction of mean (SD) lipid droplets in primary cortical neurons isolated from Cpt1c-/- mice as compared with wild-type mice (1.0 [0.12] vs 0.44 [0.05]; P < .001), suggesting a dominant negative mechanism for the mutation. This study expands the genetics of autosomal dominant HSP and is the first, to our knowledge, to link mutation in CPT1C with a human disease. The association of the CPT1C mutation with changes in lipid droplet biogenesis supports a role for altered lipid-mediated signal transduction in HSP pathogenesis.
    No preview · Article · Mar 2015 · JAMA Neurology
  • Guohua Zhao · Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) sheet membranes are covered with ribosomes and RNAs that are involved in protein synthesis. A new study reveals that a calcium-activated endoribonuclease of the EndoU protein family promotes the formation of tubular ER networks, contributing to dynamic shaping of the ER in cells. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    No preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Current Biology
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    ABSTRACT: Mutations in MYH7 cause autosomal dominant Laing distal myopathy. We present a family with a previously reported deletion (c.5186_5188delAGA, p.K1729del). Muscle pathology in one family member was characterized by an inflammatory myopathy with rimmed vacuoles, increased MHC Class I expression, and perivascular and endomysial muscle inflammation comprising CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, and CD68+ inflammatory cells. Interestingly, this biopsy specimen contained TDP-43, p62, and SMI-31-positive protein aggregates typical of inclusion body myositis. These findings should alert physicians to the possibility that patients with MYH7 mutations may have muscle biopsies showing pathologic findings similar to inclusion body myositis.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014
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    Uma Goyal · Benoît Renvoisé · Jaerak Chang · Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are a genetically diverse group of inherited neurological disorders (SPG1-72) with the cardinal feature of prominent lower-extremity spasticity due to a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal motor neurons. The most frequent form of autosomal dominant HSP results from mutations of the SPG4 gene product spastin. This is an ATPase associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA) protein that binds to and severs microtubules. While spastin participates in crucial cellular processes such as cytokinesis, endosomal tubulation, and axon development, its role in HSP pathogenesis remains unclear. Spastin interacts in cells with the NA14 protein, a major target for auto-antibodies in Sjögren's syndrome (nuclear autoantigen 1; SSNA1). Our analysis of endogenous spastin and NA14 proteins in HeLa cells and rat cortical neurons in primary culture revealed a clear distribution of both proteins to centrosomes, with NA14 localizing specifically to centrioles. Stable NA14 knockdown in cell lines dramatically affected cell division, in particular cytokinesis. Furthermore, overexpression of NA14 in neurons significantly increased axon outgrowth and branching, while also enhancing neuronal differentiation. We postulate that NA14 may act as an adaptor protein regulating spastin localization to centrosomes, temporally and spatially regulating the microtubule-severing activity of spastin that is particularly critical during the cell cycle and neuronal development.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    Jaerak Chang · Seongju Lee · Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: Autophagy allows cells to adapt to changes in their environment by coordinating the degradation and recycling of cellular components and organelles to maintain homeostasis. Lysosomes are organelles critical for terminating autophagy via their fusion with mature autophagosomes to generate autolysosomes that degrade autophagic materials; therefore, maintenance of the lysosomal population is essential for autophagy-dependent cellular clearance. Here, we have demonstrated that the two most common autosomal recessive hereditary spastic paraplegia gene products, the SPG15 protein spastizin and the SPG11 protein spatacsin, are pivotal for autophagic lysosome reformation (ALR), a pathway that generates new lysosomes. Lysosomal targeting of spastizin required an intact FYVE domain, which binds phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate. Loss of spastizin or spatacsin resulted in depletion of free lysosomes, which are competent to fuse with autophagosomes, and an accumulation of autolysosomes, reflecting a failure in ALR. Moreover, spastizin and spatacsin were essential components for the initiation of lysosomal tubulation. Together, these results link dysfunction of the autophagy/lysosomal biogenesis machinery to neurodegeneration.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2014 · Journal of Clinical Investigation
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary spastic paraplegias are a large, diverse group of neurological disorders (SPG1-71) with the unifying feature of prominent lower extremity spasticity, due to a length-dependent axonopathy of corticospinal motor neurons. The most common early-onset form of pure, autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia is caused by mutation in the ATL1 gene encoding the atlastin-1 GTPase, which mediates homotypic fusion of ER tubules to form the polygonal ER network. We have identified a p.Pro342Ser mutation in a young girl with pure SPG3A. This residue is in a critical hinge region of atlastin-1 between its GTPase and assembly domains, and it is conserved in all known eukaryotic atlastin orthologs. We produced induced pluripotent stem cells from skin fibroblasts and differentiated these into forebrain neurons to generate a human neuronal model for SPG3A. Axons of these SPG3A neurons showed impaired growth, recapitulating axonal defects in atlastin-1-depleted rat cortical neurons and impaired root hair growth in loss-of-function mutants of the ATL1 ortholog rhd3 in the plant Arabidopsis. Both the microtubule cytoskeleton and tubular ER are important for mitochondrial distribution and function within cells, and SPG3A neurons showed alterations in mitochondrial motility. Even so, it is not clear whether this change is involved in disease pathogenesis. The SPG3A axon growth defects could be rescued with microtubule-binding agents, emphasizing the importance of tubular ER interactions with the microtubule cytoskeleton in hereditary spastic paraplegia pathogenesis. The prominent alterations in axon growth in SPG3A neurons may represent a particularly attractive target for suppression in screens for novel pharmacologic agents.
    No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Objective Hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSPs) are among the most genetically diverse inherited neurological disorders, with over 70 disease loci identified (SPG1-71) to date. SPG15 and SPG11 are clinically similar, autosomal recessive disorders characterized by progressive spastic paraplegia along with thin corpus callosum, white matter abnormalities, cognitive impairment, and ophthalmologic abnormalities. Furthermore, both have been linked to early-onset parkinsonism.Methods We describe two new cases of SPG15 and investigate cellular changes in SPG15 and SPG11 patient-derived fibroblasts, seeking to identify shared pathogenic themes. Cells were evaluated for any abnormalities in cell division, DNA repair, endoplasmic reticulum, endosomes, and lysosomes.ResultsFibroblasts prepared from patients with SPG15 have selective enlargement of LAMP1-positive structures, and they consistently exhibited abnormal lysosomal storage by electron microscopy. A similar enlargement of LAMP1-positive structures was also observed in cells from multiple SPG11 patients, though prominent abnormal lysosomal storage was not evident. The stabilities of the SPG15 protein spastizin/ZFYVE26 and the SPG11 protein spatacsin were interdependent.InterpretationEmerging studies implicating these two proteins in interactions with the late endosomal/lysosomal adaptor protein complex AP-5 are consistent with shared abnormalities in lysosomes, supporting a converging mechanism for these two disorders. Recent work with Zfyve26−/− mice revealed a similar phenotype to human SPG15, and cells in these mice had endolysosomal abnormalities. SPG15 and SPG11 are particularly notable among HSPs because they can also present with juvenile parkinsonism, and this lysosomal trafficking or storage defect may be relevant for other forms of parkinsonism associated with lysosomal dysfunction.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2) is an autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia associated with mutations in SETX, which encodes the senataxin protein, a DNA/RNA helicase. We describe the clinical phenotype and molecular characterization of a Colombian AOA2 patient who is compound heterozygous for a c.994 C>T (p.R332W) missense mutation in exon 7 and a c.6848_6851delCAGA (p.T2283KfsX32) frameshift deletion in SETX exon 21. Immunocytochemistry of patient-derived fibroblasts revealed a normal cellular distribution of the senataxin protein, suggesting that these mutations do not lead to loss or mis-localization of the protein, but rather that aberrant function of senataxin underlies the disease pathogenesis. Furthermore, we used the alkaline comet assay to demonstrate that patient-derived fibroblast cells exhibit an increased susceptibility to oxidative DNA damage. This assay provides a novel and additional means to establish pathogenicity of SETX mutations.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Clinical Neuroscience
  • Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: •Huntington's disease is a severe, progressive, inherited neuropsychiatric disorder•Huntington's disease has been intensively studied for almost 150 years•Recent investigations have emphasized several key pathogenic themes•The broad interest in Huntington's disease ensures new therapeutic ideas and trials
    No preview · Article · Apr 2014 · Drug discovery today
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    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Molecular Genetics and Metabolism
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    ABSTRACT: Ataxia with oculomotor apraxia type 2 (AOA2) is an autosomal recessive cerebellar ataxia associated with mutations in SETX, which encodes the senataxin protein, a DNA/RNA helicase. We describe the clinical phenotype and molecular characterization of a Colombian AOA2 patient who is compound heterozygous for a c.994 C>T (p.R332W) missense mutation in exon 7 and a c.6848_6851delCAGA (p.T2283KfsX32) frameshift deletion in SETX exon 21. Immunocytochemistry of patient-derived fibroblasts revealed a normal cellular distribution of the senataxin protein, suggesting that these mutations do not lead to loss or mis-localization of the protein, but rather that aberrant function of senataxin underlies the disease pathogenesis. Furthermore, we used the alkaline comet assay to demonstrate that patient-derived fibroblast cells exhibit an increased susceptibility to oxidative DNA damage. This assay provides a novel and additional means to establish pathogenicity of SETX mutations.
    No preview · Article · Jan 2014
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    ABSTRACT: Human neuronal models of hereditary spastic paraplegias (HSP) that recapitulate disease-specific axonal pathology hold the key to understanding why certain axons degenerate in patients and to developing therapies. SPG4, the most common form of HSP, is caused by autosomal dominant mutations in the SPAST gene, which encodes the microtubule-severing ATPase spastin. Here, we have generated a human neuronal model of SPG4 by establishing induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from an SPG4 patient and differentiating these cells into telencephalic glutamatergic neurons. The SPG4 neurons displayed a significant increase in axonal swellings, which stained strongly for mitochondria and tau, indicating the accumulation of axonal transport cargoes. In addition, mitochondrial transport was decreased in SPG4 neurons, revealing that these patient iPSC-derived neurons recapitulate disease-specific axonal phenotypes. Interestingly, spastin protein levels were significantly decreased in SPG4 neurons, supporting a haploinsufficiency mechanism. Furthermore, cortical neurons derived from spastin-knockdown human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) exhibited similar axonal swellings, confirming that the axonal defects can be caused by loss of spastin function. These spastin-knockdown hESCs serve as an additional model for studying HSP. Finally, levels of stabilized acetylated-tubulin were significantly increased in SPG4 neurons. Vinblastine, a microtubule-destabilizing drug, rescued this axonal swelling phenotype in neurons derived from both SPG4 iPSCs and spastin-knockdown hESCs. Thus, this study demonstrates the successful establishment of human pluripotent stem cell-based neuronal models of SPG4, which will be valuable for dissecting the pathogenic cellular mechanisms and screening compounds to rescue the axonal degeneration in HSP. Stem Cells 2013.
    No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · Stem Cells
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    Jaerak Chang · Seongju Lee · Craig Blackstone
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    ABSTRACT: Hereditary spastic paraplegias are inherited neurological disorders characterized by progressive lower-limb spasticity and weakness. Although more than 50 genetic loci are known [spastic gait (SPG)1 to -57], over half of hereditary spastic paraplegia cases are caused by pathogenic mutations in four genes encoding proteins that function in tubular endoplasmic reticulum (ER) network formation: atlastin-1 (SPG3A), spastin (SPG4), reticulon 2 (SPG12), and receptor expression-enhancing protein 1 (SPG31). Here, we show that the SPG33 protein protrudin contains hydrophobic, intramembrane hairpin domains, interacts with tubular ER proteins, and functions in ER morphogenesis by regulating the sheet-to-tubule balance and possibly the density of tubule interconnections. Protrudin also interacts with KIF5 and harbors a Rab-binding domain, a noncanonical FYVE (Fab-1, YGL023, Vps27, and EEA1) domain, and a two phenylalanines in an acidic tract (FFAT) domain and, thus, may also function in the distribution of ER tubules via ER contacts with the plasma membrane or other organelles.
    Full-text · Article · Aug 2013 · Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
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    ABSTRACT: We report here the genetic basis for a form of progressive hereditary spastic paraplegia (SPG43) previously described in two Malian sisters. Exome sequencing revealed a homozygous missense variant (c.187G>C; p.Ala63Pro) in C19orf12, a gene recently implicated in neurodegeneration with brain iron accumulation (NBIA). The same mutation was subsequently also found in a Brazilian family with features of NBIA, and we identified another NBIA patient with a three-nucleotide deletion (c.197_199del; p.Gly66del). Haplotype analysis revealed that the p.Ala163Pro mutations have a common origin, but MRI scans showed no brain iron deposition in the Malian SPG43 subjects. Heterologous expression of these SPG43 and NBIA variants resulted in similar alterations in the subcellular distribution of C19orf12. The SPG43 and NBIA variants reported here as well as the most common C19orf12 missense mutation reported in NBIA patients are found within a highly-conserved, extended hydrophobic domain in C19orf12, underscoring the functional importance of this domain.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Human Mutation
  • S Donkervoort · J Dastgir · Y Hu · Wm Zein · H Marks · C Blackstone · Cg Bönnemann

    No preview · Article · Jun 2013 · Clinical Genetics
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    ABSTRACT: Lipid droplets (LDs) are the major fat storage organelles in eukaryotic cells, but how their size is regulated is unknown. Using genetic screens in C. elegans for LD morphology defects in intestinal cells, we found that mutations in atlastin, a GTPase required for homotypic fusion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membranes, cause not only ER morphology defects, but also a reduction in LD size. Similar results were obtained after depletion of atlastin or expression of a dominant-negative mutant, whereas overexpression of atlastin had the opposite effect. Atlastin depletion in Drosophila fat bodies also reduced LD size and decreased triglycerides in whole animals, sensitizing them to starvation. In mammalian cells, co-overexpression of atlastin-1 and REEP1, a paralog of the ER tubule-shaping protein DP1/REEP5, generates large LDs. The effect of atlastin-1 on LD size correlates with its activity to promote membrane fusion in vitro. Our results indicate that atlastin-mediated fusion of ER membranes is important for LD size regulation.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013 · Cell Reports

Publication Stats

3k Citations
511.94 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002-2015
    • National Institutes of Health
      • • Branch of Neurogenetics
      • • Unit on Cellular Polarity
      베서스다, Maryland, United States
  • 2006-2014
    • National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Strokes
      Chicago, Illinois, United States
  • 2008
    • National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
      Maryland, United States
  • 2007
    • National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
      Maryland, United States
  • 1999
    • Harvard Medical School
      • Department of Neurology
      Boston, Massachusetts, United States