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Pathogenic E2K mutation of doublecortin X (DCX) alters microtubule stabilisation and actin filament association

Moslehi, Maryam, Ng, Dominic C.H., Bogoyevitch, Marie A.
Biochemical and biophysical research communications 2019 v.513 no.3 pp. 540-545
brain, cognitive disorders, depolymerization, genes, microtubules, mutants, mutation, neurons, patients, tubulin
Mutations of the microtubule (MT)-associated protein Doublecortin X (DCX) gene disrupt cortical layering in brain development. Whilst many of these pathogenic DCX mutations are within the doublecortin domains (DC1 and DC2) that mediate direct DCX-MT association, a pathogenic mutation DCX E2K that causes cognitive impairment and pachygyria in human patients lies within the regulatory DCX N-terminus (DCX-N) preceding the DC1 domain. Here, we characterise the impact of DCX E2K on cytoskeletal association and regulation in neuronal cells. We show that the DCX E2K mutant protein retains the ability to interact with and bundle MTs, but these MTs show a reduced sensitivity to nocodazole-induced depolymerisation as well as slower α-tubulin exchange rates. Furthermore, we showed increased association of DCX E2K mutant with the actin filament (F-ACT) network. These results highlight the importance of the N-terminus of DCX in regulating association and co-ordination of MT and F-ACT networks.