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Differential Aggregation Of The Trembler And Trembler J Mutants Of Peripheral Myelin Protein 22

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Mutations in the gene encoding the peripheral myelin protein 22 (PMP22), a tetraspan protein in compact peripheral myelin, are one of the causes of inherited demyelinating peripheral neuropathy. Most PMP22 mutations alter the trafficking of the PMP22 protein in Schwann cells, and this different trafficking has been proposed as the underlying mechanism of the disease. To explore this problem further, we compared the aggregation of wild‐type Pmp22 with those of the two Pmp22 mutations found in Trembler (Tr) and Trembler J (TrJ) mice. All three Pmp22s can be crosslinked readily as homodimers in transfected cells. Wild‐type Pmp22 also forms heterodimers with Tr and TrJ Pmp22, and these heterodimers traffic with their respective mutant Pmp22 homodimers. All three Pmp22s form complexes larger than dimers with Tr Pmp22 especially prone to aggregate into high molecular weight complexes. Despite the differences in aggregation of Tr and TO Pmp22, these two mutant Pmp22s sequester the same amount of wild‐type Pmp22 in heterodimers and heterooligomers. Thus, the differences in the phenotypes of Tr and TrJ mice may depend more on the ability of the mutant protein to aggregate than on the dominant‐negative effect of the mutant Pmp22 on wild‐type Pmp22 trafficking.
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Document Type: Research Article

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Publication date: September 1, 2002

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