The neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses
The neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses (NCL) are the most common group of progressive neurodegenerative diseases in children, with an incidence as high as one in 12,500 live births. The main features of this disease are failure of psychomotor development, impaired vision, seizures, and premature death. Many biochemical and physiological studies have been initiated to determine the cellular defect underlying the disease, although only a few traits have been truly associated with the disorders. One of the paradox’s of the NCL-diseases is the characteristic accumulation of autofluorescent hydrophobic material in the lysosomes of neurons and other cell types. However, the accumulation of this lysosomal storage material, which no doubt contributes to the neurologic disease, does not apparently lead to disease outside the CNS, and how these cellular alterations relate to the neurodegeneration in NCLs is unknown. Mutations have been identified in six distinct genes/proteins, namely CLN1, which encodes PPT1, a protein thiolesterase; CLN2, which encodes TPP1, a serine protease; and CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, and CLN8, which encode novel transmembrane proteins. Mutation in any one of these CLN-proteins results in a distinct type of NCL-disease. However, there are many shared similarities in the pathology of these diseases. The most obvious connection between PPT1, TPP1, CLN3, CLN5, CLN6, and CLN8 is their subcellular localization. To date, three of the four proteins whose subcellular localization has been confirmed, namely PPT1, TPP1, and CLN3, reside in the lysosome. We review the function of the CLN-proteins and discuss the possibility that a disruption in a common biological process leads to an NCL-disease.
Index EntriesNeuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinoses Batten disease lysosome protein trafficking neurodegeneration
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