Theses Doctoral

Structural and Functional Studies of TRPML1 and TRPP2

Benvin, Nicole Marie

In recent years, the determination of several high-resolution structures of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels has led to significant progress within this field. The primary focus of this dissertation is to elucidate the structural characterization of TRPML1 and TRPP2.

Mutations in TRPML1 cause mucolipidosis type IV (MLIV), a rare neurodegenerative lysosomal storage disorder. We determined the first high-resolution crystal structures of the human TRPML1 I-II linker domain using X-ray crystallography at pH 4.5, pH 6.0, and pH 7.5. These structures revealed a tetramer with a highly electronegative central pore which plays a role in the dual Ca2+/pH regulation of TRPML1. Notably, these physiologically relevant structures of the I-II linker domain harbor three MLIV-causing mutations. Our findings suggest that these pathogenic mutations destabilize not only the tetrameric structure of the I-II linker, but also the overall architecture of full-length TRPML1. In addition, TRPML1 proteins containing MLIV-causing mutations mislocalized in the cell when imaged by confocal fluorescence microscopy.

Mutations in TRPP2 cause autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Since novel technological advances in single-particle cryo-electron microscopy have now enabled the determination of high-resolution membrane protein structures, we set out to solve the structure of TRPP2 using this technique. Our investigations offer valuable insight into the optimization of TRPP2 protein purification and sample preparation procedures necessary for structural analysis.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Biological Sciences
Thesis Advisors
Yang, Jian
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 10, 2017