PloS one

LITAF mutations associated with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease 1C show mislocalization from the late endosome/lysosome to the mitochondria.

PMID 25058650


Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease is one of the most common heritable neuromuscular disorders, affecting 1 in every 2500 people. Mutations in LITAF have been shown to be causative for CMT type 1C disease. In this paper we explore the subcellular localization of wild type LITAF and mutant forms of LITAF known to cause CMT1C (T49M, A111G, G112S, T115N, W116G, L122V and P135T). The results show that LITAF mutants A111G, G112S, W116G, and T115N mislocalize from the late endosome/lysosome to the mitochondria while the mutants T49M, L122V, and P135T show partial mislocalization with a portion of the total protein present in the late endosome/lysosome and the remainder of the protein localized to the mitochondria. This suggests that different mutants of LITAF will produce differing severity of disease. We also explored the effect of the presence of mutant LITAF on wild-type LITAF localization. We showed that in cells heterozygous for LITAF, CMT1C mutants T49M and G112S are dominant since wild-type LITAF localized to the mitochondria when co-transfected with a LITAF mutant. Finally, we demonstrated how LITAF transits to the endosome and mitochondria compartments of the cell. Using Brefeldin A to block ER to Golgi transport we demonstrated that wild type LITAF traffics through the secretory pathway to the late endosome/lysosome while the LITAF mutants transit to the mitochondria independent of the secretory pathway. In addition, we demonstrated that the C-terminus of LITAF is necessary and sufficient for targeting of wild-type LITAF to the late endosome/lysosome and the mutants to the mitochondria. Together these data provide insight into how mutations in LITAF cause CMT1C disease.