Interconnections of CLN3, Hook1 and Rab proteins link Batten disease to defects in the endocytic pathway

Hum Mol Genet. 2004 Dec 1;13(23):3017-27. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddh321. Epub 2004 Oct 7.


The endosomal/lysosomal transmembrane protein CLN3 is mutated in the Batten disease (juvenile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis, JNCL). However, the molecular mechanism of JNCL pathogenesis and the exact function of the CLN3 protein have remained unclear. Previous studies have shown that deletion of BTN1, the yeast orthologue of CLN3, leads to increased expression of BTN2. BTN2 encodes Btn2p, a proposed homologue to a novel microtubule-binding protein Hook1, which regulates endocytosis in Drosophila. We analysed here the putative interconnection between CLN3 and Hook1 in the mammalian cells and discovered that overexpression of human CLN3 induces aggregation of Hook1 protein, potentially by mediating its dissociation from the microtubules. Using in vitro binding assay we were able to demonstrate a weak interaction between Hook1 and the cytoplasmic segments of CLN3. We also found receptor-mediated endocytosis to be defective in CLN3-deficient JNCL fibroblasts, connecting CLN3, Hook1 and endocytosis in the mammalian system. Moreover, co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Hook1 physically interacts with endocytic Rab7, Rab9 and Rab11, hence delineating a manifold role for mammalian Hook1 in membrane trafficking events. These novel interactions between the microtubule-binding Hook1 and the large family of Rab GTPases also suggest a link between CLN3 function, microtubule cytoskeleton and endocytic membrane trafficking.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Endocytosis*
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism*
  • Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses / genetics
  • Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses / metabolism*
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins / metabolism*


  • CLN3 protein, human
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins
  • Molecular Chaperones
  • hook1 protein, human
  • rab GTP-Binding Proteins