Aggresome-forming TTRAP mediates pro-apoptotic properties of Parkinson's disease-associated DJ-1 missense mutations

S. Zucchelli, S. Vilotti, R. Calligaris, Z. S. Lavina, M. Biagioli, R. Foti, L. De Maso, M. Pinto, M. Gorza, E. Speretta, C. Casseler, G. Tell, G. Del Sal, S. Gustincich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


Mutations in PARK7 DJ-1 have been associated with autosomal-recessive early-onset Parkinson's disease (PD). This gene encodes for an atypical peroxiredoxin-like peroxidase that may act as a regulator of transcription and a redox-dependent chaperone. Although large gene deletions have been associated with a loss-of-function phenotype, the pathogenic mechanism of several missense mutations is less clear. By performing a yeast two-hybrid screening from a human fetal brain library, we identified TRAF and TNF receptor-associated protein (TTRAP), an ubiquitin-binding domain-containing protein, as a novel DJ-1 interactor, which was able to bind the PD-associated mutations M26I and L166P more strongly than wild type. TTRAP protected neuroblastoma cells from apoptosis induced by proteasome impairment. In these conditions, endogenous TTRAP relocalized to a detergent-insoluble fraction and formed cytoplasmic aggresome-like structures. Interestingly, both DJ-1 mutants blocked the TTRAP protective activity unmasking a c-jun N-terminal kinase (JNK)- and p38-MAPK (mitogen-activated protein kinase)-mediated apoptosis. These results suggest an active role of DJ-1 missense mutants in the control of cell death and position TTRAP as a new player in the arena of neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)428-438
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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