Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

Inclusion Formation and Toxicity of The ALS Protein RGNEF and Its Association with the Microtubule Network

Version 1 : Received: 6 July 2020 / Approved: 8 July 2020 / Online: 8 July 2020 (11:00:04 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Di Gregorio, S.E.; Volkening, K.; Strong, M.J.; Duennwald, M.L. Inclusion Formation and Toxicity of the ALS Protein RGNEF and Its Association with the Microtubule Network. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5597. Di Gregorio, S.E.; Volkening, K.; Strong, M.J.; Duennwald, M.L. Inclusion Formation and Toxicity of the ALS Protein RGNEF and Its Association with the Microtubule Network. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5597.

Journal reference: Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 5597
DOI: 10.3390/ijms21165597

Abstract

The Rho guanine nucleotide exchange factor (RGNEF) protein encoded by the ARHGEF28 gene has been implicated in the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Biochemical and pathological studies have shown that RGNEF is a component of the hallmark neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions in ALS-affected neurons. Additionally, a heterozygous mutation in ARHGEF28 has been identified in a number of familial ALS (fALS) cases that may give rise to one of two truncated variants of the protein. Little is known about the normal biological function of RGNEF or how it contributes to ALS pathogenesis. To further explore RGNEF biology we have established and characterized a yeast model and characterized RGNEF expression in several mammalian cell lines. We demonstrate that RGNEF is toxic when overexpressed and forms inclusions. We also found that the fALS-associated mutation in ARGHEF28 gives rise to an inclusion-forming and toxic protein. Additionally, through unbiased screening using the split-ubiquitin system, we have identified RGNEF interacting proteins, including two ALS-associated proteins. Functional characterization of other RGNEF interactors identified in our screen suggest that RGNEF functions as a microtubule regulator. Our findings indicate that RGNEF misfolding and toxicity may cause impairment of the microtubule network and contribute to ALS pathogenesis.

Subject Areas

ALS; protein misfolding; RGNEF; microtubuli

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