Browsing by Subject "RAC1"

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  • Romano, Roberta; Rivellini, Cristina; De Luca, Maria; Tonlorenzi, Rossana; Beli, Raffaella; Manganelli, Fiore; Nolano, Maria; Santoro, Lucio; Eskelinen, Eeva-Liisa; Previtali, Stefano C.; Bucci, Cecilia (2021)
    The small GTPase RAB7A regulates late stages of the endocytic pathway and plays specific roles in neurons, controlling neurotrophins trafficking and signaling, neurite outgrowth and neuronal migration. Mutations in the RAB7A gene cause the autosomal dominant Charcot-Marie-Tooth type 2B (CMT2B) disease, an axonal peripheral neuropathy. As several neurodegenerative diseases are caused by alterations of endocytosis, we investigated whether CMT2B-causing mutations correlate with changes in this process. To this purpose, we studied the endocytic pathway in skin fibroblasts from healthy and CMT2B individuals. We found higher expression of late endocytic proteins in CMT2B cells compared to control cells, as well as higher activity of cathepsins and higher receptor degradation activity. Consistently, we observed an increased number of lysosomes, accompanied by higher lysosomal degradative activity in CMT2B cells. Furthermore, we found increased migration and increased RAC1 and MMP-2 activation in CMT2B compared to control cells. To validate these data, we obtained sensory neurons from patient and control iPS cells, to confirm increased lysosomal protein expression and lysosomal activity in CMT2B-derived neurons. Altogether, these results demonstrate that in CMT2B patient-derived cells, the endocytic degradative pathway is altered, suggesting that higher lysosomal activity contributes to neurodegeneration occurring in CMT2B.