Dimerization of the Alzheimer's disease pathogenic receptor SORLA regulates its association with retromer

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SORL1, the gene encoding the large multidomain SORLA protein, has emerged as only the fourth gene that when mutated can by itself cause Alzheimer's disease (AD), and as a gene reliably linked to both the early- and late-onset forms of the disease. SORLA is known to interact with the endosomal trafficking regulatory complex called retromer in regulating the recycling of endosomal cargo, including the amyloid precursor protein (APP) and the glutamate receptor GluA1. Nevertheless, SORLA's precise structural-functional relationship in endosomal recycling tubules remains unknown. Here, we address these outstanding questions by relying on crystallographic and artificial-intelligence evidence to generate a structural model for how SORLA folds and fits into retromer-positive endosomal tubules, where it is found to dimerize via both SORLA's fibronectin-type-III (3Fn)- and VPS10p-domains. Moreover, we identify a SORLA fragment comprising the 3Fn-, transmembrane, and cytoplasmic domains that has the capacity to form a dimer, and to enhance retromer-dependent recycling of APP by decreasing its amyloidogenic processing. Collectively, these observations generate a model for how SORLA dimer (and possibly polymer) formation can function in stabilizing and enhancing retromer function at endosome tubules. These findings can inform investigation of the many AD-associated SORL1 variants for evidence of pathogenicity and can guide discovery of novel drugs for the disease.

TidsskriftProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Antal sider11
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2023


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