Protein degradation and quality control in cells from laforin and malin knockout mice

Punitee Garyali, Dyann M. Segvich, Anna A. Depaoli-Roach, Peter J. Roach

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Lafora disease is a progressive myoclonus epilepsy caused by mutations in the EPM2A or EPM2B genes that encode a glycogen phosphatase, laforin, and an E3 ubiquitin ligase, malin, respectively. Lafora disease is characterized by accumulation of insoluble, poorly branched, hyperphosphorylated glycogen in brain, muscle, heart, and liver. The laforinmalin complex has been proposed to play a role in the regulation of glycogen metabolism and protein quality control. We evaluated three arms of the protein degradation/quality control process (the autophago-lysosomal pathway, the ubiquitin-proteasomal pathway, and the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response) in mouse embryonic fibroblasts from Epm2a-/-, Epm2b-/-, and Epm2a-/- Epm2b-/- mice. The levels of LC3-II, a marker of autophagy, were decreased in all knock-out cells as compared with wild type even though they still showed a slight response to starvation and rapamycin. Furthermore, ribosomal protein S6 kinase and S6 phosphorylation were increased. Under basal conditions there was no effect on the levels of ubiquitinated proteins in the knock-out cells, but ubiquitinated protein degradation was decreased during starvation or stress. Lack of malin (Epm2b-/- and Epm2a-/- Epm2b-/- cells) but not laforin (Epm2a-/- cells) decreased LAMP1, a lysosomal marker. CHOP expression was similar in wild type and knock-out cells under basal conditions or with ER stress-inducing agents. In conclusion, both laforin and malin knock-out cells display mTOR-dependent autophagy defects and reduced proteasomal activity but no defects in the ER stress response. We speculate that these defects may be secondary to glycogen overaccumulation. This study also suggests a malin function independent of laforin, possibly in lysosomal biogenesis and/or lysosomal glycogen disposal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20606-20614
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number30
StatePublished - Jul 25 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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