Recently we identified TPPP/p25 (tubulin polymerization promoting protein/p25) as a brain-specific unstructured protein that induced aberrant microtubule assemblies and ultrastructure in vitro and as a new marker for Parkinson's disease and other synucleopathies. In this paper the structural and functional consequences of TPPP/p25 are characterized to elucidate the relationship between the in vitro and the pathological phenomena. We show that at low expression levels EGFP-TPPP/p25 specifically colocalizes with the microtubule network of HeLa and NRK cells. We found that the colocalization was dynamic (tg=5 seconds by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching) and changed during the phases of mitosis. Time-lapse and immunofluorescence experiments revealed that high levels of EGFP-TPPP/p25 inhibited cell division and promoted cell death. At high expression levels or in the presence of proteosome inhibitor, green fusion protein accumulated around centrosomes forming an aggresome-like structure protruding into the nucleus or a filamentous cage of microtubules surrounding the nucleus. These structures showed high resistance to vinblastin. We propose that a potential function of TPPP/p25 is the stabilization of physiological microtubular ultrastructures, however, its upregulation may directly or indirectly initiate the formation of aberrant protein aggregates such as pathological inclusions.
A. Lehotzky, L. Tirian, Natália Tökési
Journal of Cell Science