American journal of physiology. Gastrointestinal and liver physiology

Critical roles for the COOH terminus of the Cu-ATPase ATP7B in protein stability, trans-Golgi network retention, copper sensing, and retrograde trafficking.

PMID 21454443


ATP7A and ATP7B are copper-transporting P-type ATPases that are essential to eukaryotic copper homeostasis and must traffic between intracellular compartments to carry out their functions. Previously, we identified a nine-amino acid sequence (F37-E45) in the NH(2) terminus of ATP7B that is required to retain the protein in the Golgi when copper levels are low and target it apically in polarized hepatic cells when copper levels rise. To understand further the mechanisms regulating the intracellular dynamics of ATP7B, using multiple functional assays, we characterized the protein phenotypes of 10 engineered and Wilson disease-associated mutations in the ATP7B COOH terminus in polarized hepatic cells and fibroblasts. We also examined the behavior of a chimera between ATP7B and ATP7A. Our results clearly demonstrate the importance of the COOH terminus of ATP7B in the protein's copper-responsive apical trafficking. L1373 at the end of transmembrane domain 8 is required for protein stability and Golgi retention in low copper, the trileucine motif (L1454-L1456) is required for retrograde trafficking, and the COOH terminus of ATP7B exhibits a higher sensitivity to copper than does ATP7A. Importantly, our results demonstrating that four Wilson disease-associated missense mutations behaved in a wild-type manner in all our assays, together with current information in the literature, raise the possibility that several may not be disease-causing mutations.

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Leu-Leu-Leu, ≥90% (elemental analysis)