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      Elevated TMEM106B levels exaggerate lipofuscin accumulation and lysosomal dysfunction in aged mice with progranulin deficiency


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          Mutations resulting in haploinsufficiency of progranulin (PGRN) cause frontotemporal lobar degeneration with TDP-43-positive inclusions (FTLD-TDP), a devastating neurodegenerative disease. Accumulating evidence suggest a crucial role of progranulin in maintaining proper lysosomal function during aging. TMEM106B has been identified as a risk factor for frontotemporal lobar degeneration with progranulin mutations and elevated mRNA and protein levels of TMEM106B are associated with increased risk for frontotemporal lobar degeneration. Increased levels of TMEM106B alter lysosomal morphology and interfere with lysosomal degradation. However, how progranulin and TMEM106B interact to regulate lysosomal function and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) disease progression is still unclear. Here we report that progranulin deficiency leads to increased TMEM106B protein levels in the mouse cortex with aging. To mimic elevated levels of TMEM106B in frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) cases, we generated transgenic mice expressing TMEM106B under the neuronal specific promoter, CamKII. Surprisingly, we found that the total protein levels of TMEM106B are not altered despite the expression of the TMEM106B transgene at mRNA and protein levels, suggesting a tight regulation of TMEM106B protein levels in the mouse brain. However, progranulin deficiency results in accumulation of TMEM106B protein from the transgene expression during aging, which is accompanied by exaggerated lysosomal abnormalities and increased lipofuscin accumulation. In summary, our mouse model nicely recapitulates the interaction between progranulin and TMEM106B in human patients and supports a critical role of lysosomal dysfunction in the frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) disease progression.

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          Control of memory formation through regulated expression of a CaMKII transgene.

          One of the major limitations in the use of genetically modified mice for studying cognitive functions is the lack of regional and temporal control of gene function. To overcome these limitations, a forebrain-specific promoter was combined with the tetracycline transactivator system to achieve both regional and temporal control of transgene expression. Expression of an activated calcium-independent form of calcium-calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) resulted in a loss of hippocampal long-term potentiation in response to 10-hertz stimulation and a deficit in spatial memory, a form of explicit memory. Suppression of transgene expression reversed both the physiological and the memory deficit. When the transgene was expressed at high levels in the lateral amygdala and the striatum but not other forebrain structures, there was a deficit in fear conditioning, an implicit memory task, that also was reversible. Thus, the CaMKII signaling pathway is critical for both explicit and implicit memory storage, in a manner that is independent of its potential role in development.
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            TMEM106B regulates progranulin levels and the penetrance of FTLD in GRN mutation carriers.

            To determine whether TMEM106B single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) are associated with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD) in patients with and without mutations in progranulin (GRN) and to determine whether TMEM106B modulates GRN expression. We performed a case-control study of 3 SNPs in TMEM106B in 482 patients with clinical and 80 patients with pathologic FTLD-TAR DNA-binding protein 43 without GRN mutations, 78 patients with FTLD with GRN mutations, and 822 controls. Association analysis of TMEM106B with GRN plasma levels was performed in 1,013 controls and TMEM106B and GRN mRNA expression levels were correlated in peripheral blood samples from 33 patients with FTLD and 150 controls. In our complete FTLD patient cohort, nominal significance was identified for 2 TMEM106B SNPs (top SNP rs1990622, p(allelic) = 0.036). However, the most significant association with risk of FTLD was observed in the subgroup of GRN mutation carriers compared to controls (corrected p(allelic) = 0.0009), where there was a highly significant decrease in the frequency of homozygote carriers of the minor alleles of all TMEM106B SNPs (top SNP rs1990622, CC genotype frequency 2.6% vs 19.1%, corrected p(recessive) = 0.009). We further identified a significant association of TMEM106B SNPs with plasma GRN levels in controls (top SNP rs1990622, corrected p = 0.002) and in peripheral blood samples a highly significant correlation was observed between TMEM106B and GRN mRNA expression in patients with FTLD (r = -0.63, p = 7.7 × 10(-5)) and controls (r = -0.49, p = 2.2 × 10(-10)). In our study, TMEM106B SNPs significantly reduced the disease penetrance in patients with GRN mutations, potentially by modulating GRN levels. These findings hold promise for the development of future protective therapies for FTLD.
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              Loss of C9orf72 Enhances Autophagic Activity via Deregulated mTOR and TFEB Signaling

              The most common cause of the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia is a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9orf72. Here we report a study of the C9orf72 protein by examining the consequences of loss of C9orf72 functions. Deletion of one or both alleles of the C9orf72 gene in mice causes age-dependent lethality phenotypes. We demonstrate that C9orf72 regulates nutrient sensing as the loss of C9orf72 decreases phosphorylation of the mTOR substrate S6K1. The transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of lysosomal and autophagy genes, which is negatively regulated by mTOR, is substantially up-regulated in C9orf72 loss-of-function animal and cellular models. Consistent with reduced mTOR activity and increased TFEB levels, loss of C9orf72 enhances autophagic flux, suggesting that C9orf72 is a negative regulator of autophagy. We identified a protein complex consisting of C9orf72 and SMCR8, both of which are homologous to DENN-like proteins. The depletion of C9orf72 or SMCR8 leads to significant down-regulation of each other’s protein level. Loss of SMCR8 alters mTOR signaling and autophagy. These results demonstrate that the C9orf72-SMCR8 protein complex functions in the regulation of metabolism and provide evidence that loss of C9orf72 function may contribute to the pathogenesis of relevant diseases.

                Author and article information

                6072550667 , fh87@cornell.edu
                Acta Neuropathol Commun
                Acta Neuropathol Commun
                Acta Neuropathologica Communications
                BioMed Central (London )
                26 January 2017
                26 January 2017
                : 5
                : 9
                [1 ]ISNI 000000041936877X, GRID grid.5386.8, Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics, , Weill Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology, Cornell University, ; Ithaca, 14853 NY USA
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0000 8877 7471, GRID grid.284723.8, Department of Neurobiology, School of Basic Medical Sciences, , Southern Medical University, ; Guangzhou, China
                Author information
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                : 21 December 2016
                : 14 January 2017
                Funded by: FundRef http://dx.doi.org/10.13039/100000065, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke;
                Award ID: R01NS088448
                Award Recipient :
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                © The Author(s) 2017

                frontotemporal lobar degeneration (ftld),progranulin,tmem106b,lipofuscin,lysosome


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