The monocarboxylate transporter 8 (MCT8) is a member of the major facilitator superfamily (MFS). These membrane-spanning proteins facilitate translocation of a variety of substrates, MCT8 specifically transports iodothyronines. Mutations in MCT8 are the underlying cause of severe X-linked psychomotor retardation. At the molecular level, such mutations led to deficiencies in substrate translocation due to reduced cell-surface expression, impaired substrate binding, or decreased substrate translocation capabilities. However, the causal relationships between genotypes, molecular features of mutated MCT8, and patient characteristics have not yet been comprehensively deciphered. We investigated the relationship between pathogenic mutants of MCT8 and their capacity to form dimers (presumably oligomeric structures) as a potential regulatory parameter of the transport function of MCT8. Fourteen pathogenic variants of MCT8 were investigated in vitro with respect to their capacity to form oligomers. Particular mutations close to the substrate translocation channel (S194F, A224T, L434W, and R445C) were found to inhibit dimerization of MCT8. This finding is in contrast to those for other transporters or transmembrane proteins, in which substitutions predominantly at the outer-surface inhibit oligomerization. Moreover, specific mutations of MCT8 located in transmembrane helix 2 (del230F, V235M, and ins236V) increased the capacity of MCT8 variants to dimerize. We analyzed the localization of MCT8 dimers in a cellular context, demonstrating differences in MCT8 dimer formation and distribution. In summary, our results add a new link between the functions (substrate transport) and protein organization (dimerization) of MCT8, and might be of relevance for other members of the MFS. Finally, the findings are discussed in relationship to functional data combined with structural–mechanistical insights into MCT8.
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Jana Fischer, Gunnar Kleinau, Anne Müller, Peter Kühnen, Denise Zwanziger, Anita Kinne, Maren Rehders, Lars C Moeller, Dagmar Führer, Annette Grüters, Heiko Krude, Klaudia Brix, and Heike Biebermann
Vaishnavi Venugopalan, Maren Rehders, Jonas Weber, Lisa Rodermund, Alaa Al-Hashimi, Tonia Bargmann, Janine Golchert, Vivien Reinecke, Georg Homuth, Uwe Völker, Francois Verrey, Janine Kirstein, Heike Heuer, Ulrich Schweizer, Doreen Braun, Eva K Wirth, and Klaudia Brix
Proteolytic cleavage of thyroglobulin (Tg) for thyroid hormone (TH) liberation is followed by TH release from thyroid follicles into the circulation, enabled by TH transporters. The existence of a functional link between Tg-processing cathepsin proteases and TH transporters has been shown to be independent of the hypothalamus–pituitary–thyroid axis. Thus, lack of cathepsin K, combined with genetic defects in the TH transporters Mct8 and Mct10, that is the Ctsk −/−/Mct8 −/y/Mct10 −/− genotype, results in persistent Tg proteolysis due to autophagy induction. Because amino acid transport by L-type amino acid transporter 2 (Lat2) has been described to regulate autophagy, we asked whether Lat2 availability is affected in Ctsk −/−/Mct8 −/y/Mct10 −/− thyroid glands. Our data revealed that while mRNA amounts and subcellular localization of Lat2 remained unaltered in thyroid tissue of Ctsk −/−/Mct8 −/y/Mct10 −/− mice in comparison to WT controls, the Lat2 protein amounts were significantly reduced. These data suggest a direct link between Lat2 function and autophagy induction in Ctsk −/−/Mct8 −/y/Mct10 −/− mice. Indeed, thyroid tissue of Lat2 −/− mice showed enhanced endo-lysosomal cathepsin activities, increased autophagosome formation, and enhanced autophagic flux. Collectively, these results suggest a mechanistic link between insufficient Lat2 protein function and autophagy induction in the thyroid gland of male mice.