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Rab8, POSH, and TAK1 regulate synaptic growth in a Drosophila model of frontotemporal dementia

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JournalJournal of Cell Biology
DateE-pub ahead of print - 23 Mar 2015
DatePublished (current) - 30 Mar 2015
Issue number7
Volume208
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)931-947
Early online date23/03/15
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Mutations in genes essential for protein homeostasis have been identified in frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients. Why mature neurons should be particularly sensitive to such perturbations is unclear. We identified mutations in Rab8 in a genetic screen for enhancement of an FTD phenotype associated with ESCRT-III dysfunction. Examination of Rab8 mutants or motor neurons expressing a mutant ESCRT-III subunit, CHMP2BIntron5, at the Drosophila melanogaster neuromuscular junction synapse revealed synaptic overgrowth and endosomal dysfunction. Expression of Rab8 rescued overgrowth phenotypes generated by CHMP2BIntron5. In Rab8 mutant synapses, c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)/activator protein-1 and TGF-β signaling were overactivated and acted synergistically to potentiate synaptic growth. We identify novel roles for endosomal JNK-scaffold POSH (Plenty-of-SH3s) and a JNK kinase kinase, TAK1, in regulating growth activation in Rab8 mutants. Our data uncover Rab8, POSH, and TAK1 as regulators of synaptic growth responses and point to recycling endosome as a key compartment for synaptic growth regulation during neurodegenerative processes.

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