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Juvenile Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinosis (Batten Disease): A Brief Review and Update

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Juvenile neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis (JNCL, Batten disease, Spielmeyer-Vogt-Sjogren disease, CLN3) is the most common inherited, autosomal recessive, neurodegenerative disorder in man. Like the other neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinoses, it is characterized by progressive loss of vision, seizures, and loss of cognitive and motor functions, leading to premature demise. JNCL is caused by mutations of CLN3, a gene that encodes a hydrophobic transmembrane protein, which localizes to membrane lipid rafts in lysosomes, endosomes, synaptosomes, and cell membrane. While the primary function of the CLN3 protein (CLN3P) may be debated, its absence affects numerous cellular functions including pH regulation, arginine transport, membrane trafficking, and apoptosis. We have recently suggested that the unifying primary function of CLN3P may be in a novel palmitoyl-protein Δ-9 desaturase (PPD) activity that in our opinion could explain all of the various functional abnormalities seen in the JNCL cells. Another group of researchers has recently shown a correlation between the CLN3P expression and the synthesis of bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate (BMP) and suggested that CLN3P may play a role in the biosynthesis of BMP. In this review, following an introduction to the neuronal ceroidlipofuscinoses, we provide a brief overview and an update of the most recent research in JNCL, specifically that related to the function of CLN3P.

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Keywords: Santavuori-Haltia disease; bis(monoacylglycerol)phosphate; congenital neuronal ceroid-lipofuscinosis; neuronal cytoplasm; synaptosomes

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • Current Molecular Medicine is an interdisciplinary journal focused on providing the readership with current and comprehensive reviews on fundamental molecular mechanisms of disease pathogenesis, the development of molecular-diagnosis and/or novel approaches to rational treatment. The reviews should be of significant interest to basic researchers and clinical investigators in molecular medicine. Periodically the journal will invite guest editors to devote an issue on a basic research area that shows promise to advance our understanding of the molecular mechanism(s) of a disease or has potential for clinical applications.
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