Protrudin is a protein that resides in the membrane of the endoplasmic reticulum and is highly expressed in the nervous system. Although mutations in the human protrudin gene (ZFYVE27, also known as SPG33) give rise to hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP), the physiological role of the encoded protein has been largely unclear. We therefore generated mice deficient in protrudin and subjected them to a battery of behavioral tests designed to examine their intermediate phenotypes. The protrudin-deficient mice were found to have a reduced body size and to manifest pleiotropic behavioral abnormalities, including hyperactivity, depression-like behavior, and deficits in attention and fear-conditioning memory. They exhibited no signs of HSP, however, consistent with the notion that HSP-associated mutations of protrudin may elicit neural degeneration, not as a result of a loss of function, but rather as a result of a gain of toxic function. Overall, our results suggest that protrudin might play an indispensable role in normal neuronal development and behavior.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience