Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 Binds to Neuronal Vesicles through Protein Interactions Mediated by Its C-Terminal WD40 Domain

Mol. Cell. Biol., 2014, doi: 10.1128/MCB.00914-13, vol. 34, no. 12, 2147-2161 published on 31.03.2014
Molecular and Cellular Biology, online article
Mutations in the leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 gene (LRRK2) are associated with familial and sporadic Parkinson's disease (PD). LRRK2 is a complex protein that consists of multiple domains, including predicted C-terminal WD40 repeats. In this study, we analyzed functional and molecular features conferred by the WD40 domain. Electron microscopic analysis of the purified LRRK2 C-terminal domain revealed doughnut-shaped particles, providing experimental evidence for its WD40 fold. We demonstrate that LRRK2 WD40 binds and sequesters synaptic vesicles via interaction with vesicle-associated proteins. In fact, a domain-based pulldown approach combined with mass spectrometric analysis identified LRRK2 as being part of a highly specific protein network involved in synaptic vesicle trafficking. In addition, we found that a C-terminal sequence variant associated with an increased risk of developing PD, G2385R, correlates with a reduced binding affinity of LRRK2 WD40 to synaptic vesicles. Our data demonstrate a critical role of the WD40 domain within LRRK2 function.  

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