Infoscience

Journal article

The Hydrophilic Isoform of Glutamate Decarboxylase, GAD67, Is Targeted to Membranes and Nerve Terminals Independent of Dimerization with the Hydrophobic Membrane-anchored Isoform, GAD65

GAD67, the larger isoform of the γ-aminobutyric acid-synthesizing enzyme glutamic acid decarboxylase, is a hydrophilic soluble molecule, postulated to localize at nerve terminals and membrane compartments by heterodimerization with the smaller membrane-anchored isoform GAD65. We here show that the dimerization region in GAD65 is distinct from the NH2-terminal membrane-anchoring region and that a membrane anchoring GAD65 subunit can indeed target a soluble subunit to membrane compartments by dimerization. However, only a fraction of membrane-bound GAD67 is engaged in a heterodimer with GAD65 in rat brain. Furthermore, in GAD65−/− mouse brain, GAD67, which no longer partitions into the Triton X-114 detergent phase, still anchors to membranes at similar levels as in wild-type mice. Similarly, in primary cultures of neurons derived from GAD65−/− mice, GAD67 is targeted to nerve terminals, where it co-localizes with the synaptic vesicle marker SV2. Thus, axonal targeting and membrane anchoring is an intrinsic property of GAD67 and does not require GAD65. The results suggest that three distinct moieties of glutamate decarboxylase localize to membrane compartments, an amphiphilic GAD65 homodimer, an amphiphilic GAD65/67 heterodimer, tethered to membranes via the GAD65 subunit, and a hydrophilic GAD67 homodimer, which associates with membranes by a distinct mechanism.

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