Identification of DmTTLL5 as a Major Tubulin Glutamylase in the Drosophila Nervous System

Abstract : Microtubules (MTs) play crucial roles during neuronal life. They are formed by heterodimers of alpha and beta-tubulins, which are subjected to several post-translational modifications (PTMs). Amongst them, glutamylation consists in the reversible addition of a variable number of glutamate residues to the C-terminal tails of tubulins. Glutamylation is the most abundant MT PTM in the mammalian adult brain, suggesting that it plays an important role in the nervous system (NS). Here, we show that the previously uncharacterized CG31108 gene encodes an alpha-tubulin glutamylase acting in the Drosophila NS. We show that this glutamylase, which we named DmTTLL5, initiates MT glutamylation specifically on alpha-tubulin, which are the only glutamylated tubulin in the Drosophila brain. In DmTTLL5 mutants, MT glutamylation was not detected in the NS, allowing for determining its potential function. DmTTLL5 mutants are viable and we did not find any defect in vesicular axonal transport, synapse morphology and larval locomotion. Moreover, DmTTLL5 mutant flies display normal negative geotaxis behavior and their lifespan is not altered. Thus, our work identifies DmTTLL5 as the major enzyme responsible for initiating neuronal MT glutamylation specifically on alpha-tubulin and we show that the absence of MT glutamylation is not detrimental for Drosophila NS function.
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Submitted on : Thursday, November 30, 2017 - 11:52:19 AM
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Isabelle Devambez, Juliette van Dijk, Salim Benlefki, Sophie Layalle, Yves Grau, et al.. Identification of DmTTLL5 as a Major Tubulin Glutamylase in the Drosophila Nervous System. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2017, 7 (1), pp.16254. ⟨10.1038/s41598-017-16586-w⟩. ⟨hal-01652424⟩

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