SorLA in glia: shared subcellular distribution patterns with caveolin-1

Cell Mol Neurobiol. 2012 Apr;32(3):409-21. doi: 10.1007/s10571-011-9771-5. Epub 2011 Nov 30.


SorLA is an established sorting and trafficking protein in neurons with demonstrated relevance to Alzheimer's disease (AD). It shares these roles with the caveolins, markers of membrane rafts microdomains. To further our knowledge on sorLA's expression and traffic, we studied sorLA expression in various cultured glia and its relation to caveolin-1 (cav-1), a caveolar microdomain marker. RT-PCR and immunoblots demonstrated sorLA expression in rat C6 glioma, primary cultures of rat astrocytes (PCRA), and human astrocytoma 1321N1 cells. PCRA were determined to express the highest levels of sorLA's message. Induction of differentiation of C6 cells into an astrocyte-like phenotype led to a significant decrease in sorLA's mRNA and protein expression. A set of complementary experimental approaches establish that sorLA and cav-1 directly or indirectly interact in glia: (1) co-fractionation in light-density membrane raft fractions of rat C6 glioma, PCRA, and human 1321N1 astrocytoma cells; (2) a subcellular co-localization distribution pattern in vesicular perinuclear compartments seen via confocal imaging in C6 and PCRA; (3) additional confocal analysis in C6 cells suggesting that the perinuclear compartments correspond to their co-localization in early endosomes and the trans-Golgi; and; (4) co-immunoprecipitation data strongly supporting their direct or indirect physical interaction. These findings further establish that sorLA is expressed in glia and that it shares its subcellular distribution pattern with cav-1. A direct or indirect cav-1/sorLA interaction could modify the trafficking and sorting functions of sorLA in glia and its proposed neuroprotective role in AD.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolin 1 / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins / metabolism*
  • Membrane Transport Proteins / metabolism*
  • Neuroglia / chemistry
  • Neuroglia / metabolism*
  • Protein Transport / physiology
  • Rats
  • Subcellular Fractions / chemistry
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured


  • Caveolin 1
  • LDL-Receptor Related Proteins
  • Membrane Transport Proteins
  • SORL1 protein, human