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Title: Understanding molecular pathology of chondrodysplasias : the role of ER stress
Author: Mularczyk, Ewa
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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MCDS is an autosomal dominant disorder, with a mild dwarfed phenotype and is caused by mutations in collagen X. The majority of the mutations identified so far are localized almost exclusively within the NC1 domain, which is responsible for trimerization of the collagen X protein. Little is known about the onset of MCDS, but recently, up-regulation of ER stress has been suggested as an important mechanism promoting the MCDS phenotype. Several studies have shown that the mutated collagen X protein is retained within the ER triggering the UPR, which has proved to be the key pathway responsible for the pathogenesis of the MCDS phenotype. In order to study the consequences of the expressing the MCDS-causing COL10A1p.N617K mutation at the molecular level, we selected HeLa cells as an appropriate cell line for the characterisation of the UPR response, by showing that the three branches of the UPR can be activated by ER stress inducing conditions in a similar manner to that seen in vivo in the MCDS growth plate. Importantly we have also shown that HeLa cells can be transduced with the collagen X cDNA constructs and will express, fold and secrete collagen X into the supernatant.Having established the cellular model for MCDS studies we demonstrated for the first time direct evidence for the retention of mutant collagen X within the ER. Moreover, we demonstrated that the mutant collagen X was degraded via a proteasomal pathway. Nevertheless, the level of ER stress induced by expression of mutant collagen X, based on BiP induction at the protein level, was disappointingly low. We therefore directly compared the level of ER stress induced by the COL10A1p.N617K mutation with that of the chondrodysplasias-causing MATN3p.V194D mutation. The ER stress induced by the matrillin mutation was far greater than that caused by the mutant collagen X. We showed that general protein synthesis was reduced in cells expressing either of the mutant proteins, most likely by the mechanism associated with the phosphorylation of eIF2alpha. Moreover, we showed the mutant matrilin-3 protein was also retained specifically in the ER. However, we could find no evidence for either proteasomal or autophagic/lysosomal degradation of mutant matrilin 3.We tested a broad range of ER stress-relieving compounds on cells expressing mutant collagen X and matrilin 3. Carbamazepine, which was previously shown to reduce ER stress in alpha1-antitripsin deficiency, reduced ER stress in cells expressing the mutant collagen X (but not matrilin 3) by way of enhanced proteasomal degradation of the retained protein. This drug should now be tested in vivo against the MCDS mouse to determine its capacity to reduce disease severity.The results presented within this thesis have contributed to the understanding of how cells deal with mutant collagen X and matrilin-3 proteins. We have identified a potential therapeutic compound that may be of use in the treatment of MCDS. Furthermore, the data presented support the concept that generic approaches to relieving ER stress may not be suitable for treating a broad range of diseases. Treatments may need to be tailored not only in a gene-specific manner but also may need to be tailored to address the differing consequences of different mutations in the same gene.
Supervisor: Boot-Handford, Raymond Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: UPR ; ER stress ; chondrodysplasia