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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The dystonia-associated protein torsinA modulates synaptic vesicle recycling.

The loss of a glutamic acid residue in the AAA-ATPase (ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities) torsinA is responsible for most cases of early onset autosomal dominant primary dystonia. In this study, we found that snapin, which binds SNAP-25 (synaptosome-associated protein of 25,000 Da) and enhances the association of the SNARE complex with synaptotagmin, is an interacting partner for both wild type and mutant torsinA. Snapin co-localized with endogenous torsinA on dense core granules in PC12 cells and was recruited to perinuclear inclusions containing mutant DeltaE-torsinA in neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cells. In view of these observations, synaptic vesicle recycling was analyzed using the lipophilic dye FM1-43 and an antibody directed against an intravesicular epitope of synaptotagmin I. We found that overexpression of wild type torsinA negatively affects synaptic vesicle endocytosis. Conversely, overexpression of DeltaE-torsinA in neuroblastoma cells increases FM1-43 uptake. Knockdown of snapin and/or torsinA using small interfering RNAs had a similar inhibitory effect on the exo-endocytic process. In addition, down-regulation of torsinA causes the persistence of synaptotagmin I on the plasma membrane, which closely resembles the effect observed by the overexpression of the DeltaE-torsinA mutant. Altogether, these findings suggest that torsinA plays a role together with snapin in regulated exocytosis and that DeltaE-torsinA exerts its pathological effects through a loss of function mechanism. This may affect neuronal uptake of neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, playing a role in the development of dystonic movements.[1]


  1. The dystonia-associated protein torsinA modulates synaptic vesicle recycling. Granata, A., Watson, R., Collinson, L.M., Schiavo, G., Warner, T.T. J. Biol. Chem. (2008) [Pubmed]
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