DOI: 10.3390/biomedicines12030641 ISSN: 2227-9059

MAPT Mutations V337M and N297K Alter Organelle Trafficking in Frontotemporal Dementia Patient-Specific Motor Neurons

Christiane Hartmann, Marie Anskat, Marc Ehrlich, Jared Sterneckert, Arun Pal, Andreas Hermann
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of neurons mainly in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. Mutations (e.g., V337M, N297K) in the microtubule-associated protein TAU (MAPT) are responsible 5–20% of familial FTD cases and have been associated with defects in organelle trafficking that plays a critical role in the proper function of cells, including transport of essential molecules and degradation of waste products. Due to the critical role of TAU mutations in microtubule stabilization and organelle transportation, it is of great interest to study these molecular mechanisms to develop effective therapeutic strategies. Therefore, herein, we analyzed mitochondrial and lysosomal trafficking in disease-specific spinal motor neurons by using live cell imaging in undirected (uncompartmentalized) and directed (compartmentalized) cell culture systems. While V337M neurons only expressed 3R TAU, the N297K mutant neurons expressed both 3R and 4R TAU. Axonal trafficking was affected differentially in V337M and N297 MAPT mutated neurons. These findings suggest that the MAPT mutations V337M and N297K impaired axon physiology differentially, which highlights the need for mutation- and/or 3R/4R TAU-specific therapeutic approaches.

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