Interaction of an intracellular pentraxin with a BTB-Kelch protein is associated with ubiquitylation, aggregation and neuronal apoptosis

Lein Weih Andrew Tseng, John L. Bixby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Neuronal pentraxin with chromo domain (NPCD) comprises a group of neuronally expressed pentraxins with both membrane and cytosolic isoforms; the functions of cytosolic NPCD isoforms are not clear. Here, we demonstrate that a cytosolic NPCD isoform selectively interacts with the BTB-Kelch protein Mayven/Kelch-like 2 (KLHL2), an actin-binding protein implicated in process outgrowth in oligodendrocytes. The KLHL2-NPCD interaction was identified by a yeast two-hybrid screen and confirmed through colocalization and co-immunoprecipitation studies. Truncation analysis indicates that the Kelch domains of KLHL2 interact with the pentraxin domain of NPCD. NPCD forms protein inclusion bodies (aggresomes) when overexpressed in tissue culture cells, KLHL2 localizes to these aggresomes, and overexpression of KLHL2 increases NPCD aggresome formation. Since other members of the BTB-Kelch family can act as Cullin-RING type E3 ubiquitin ligases, we tested the potential role of KLHL2 as a ubiquitin ligase for NPCD. We found that KLHL2 interacts selectively with Cullin 3, a key component of BTB-Kelch ubiquitin ligase complexes. Further, overexpression of KLHL2 promotes NPCD ubiquitylation. Together, these results suggest a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase function of KLHL2, with NPCD as a substrate. As the formation of aggresomes is often associated with protein aggregation in neurodegenerative diseases, we tested the effects of NPCD overexpression and KLHL2 coexpression on neuronal viability. Overexpression of NPCD in hippocampal neurons led to cell death and apoptosis; this effect was exacerbated by KLHL2 co-expression. Our findings implicate KLHL2 in ubiquitin ligase activity, and suggest potential roles of NPCD and KLHL2 in neurodegeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)254-264
Number of pages11
JournalMolecular and Cellular Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2011


  • Aggresome
  • Kelch-like
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuronal pentraxin
  • Ubiquitylation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology


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