, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 267-276
Date: 22 Jun 2006

A missense mutation in the WD40 domain of murine Lyst is linked to severe progressive Purkinje cell degeneration

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Disturbance of intracellular trafficking plays a major role in several neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer or Parkinson’s disease. The Chediak–Higashi syndrome (CHS), a life-threatening autosomal recessive disease with frequent mutations in the LYST gene, and its animal model, the beige mouse, are both characterized by lysosomal defects with accumulation of giant lysosomes. Clinically they manifest as hypopigmentation, abnormal bleeding and increased susceptibility to infection with various degrees of involvement of the nervous system. In the course of a recessive N-ethyl-N-nitrosurea (ENU) mutagenesis screen, we identified the first murine missense mutation in the lysosomal trafficking regulator gene (LystIng3618) located at a highly conserved position in the WD40 protein domain. Nearly all described human Lyst alleles lead to protein truncation and fatal childhood CHS. Only four different missense mutations have been reported in patients with adolescent or adult forms of CHS involving the nervous system. Interestingly, the LystIng3618 model presents with a predominant neurodegenerative phenotype with progressive degeneration and loss of Purkinje cells and lacks severe impairment of the immune system. Therefore, the LystIng3618 allele could represent a new model for adult CHS with neurological impairment. It could also provide an important tool to elucidate the role of neuronal lysosomal trafficking in the pathophysiology of neurodegeneration.

Martina Rudelius and Andreas Osanger contributed equally to this work.