Functional assays for the assessment of the pathogenicity of variants of GOSR2, an ER-to-Golgi SNARE involved in progressive myoclonus epilepsies

Dis Model Mech. 2017 Dec 19;10(12):1391-1398. doi: 10.1242/dmm.029132.


Progressive myoclonus epilepsies (PMEs) are inherited disorders characterized by myoclonus, generalized tonic-clonic seizures, and ataxia. One of the genes that is associated with PME is the ER-to-Golgi Qb-SNARE GOSR2, which forms a SNARE complex with syntaxin-5, Bet1 and Sec22b. Most PME patients are homo-zygous for a p.Gly144Trp mutation and develop similar clinical presentations. Recently, a patient who was compound heterozygous for p.Gly144Trp and a previously unseen p.Lys164del mutation was identified. Because this patient presented with a milder disease phenotype, we hypothesized that the p.Lys164del mutation may be less severe compared to p.Gly144Trp. To characterize the effect of the p.Gly144Trp and p.Lys164del mutations, both of which are present in the SNARE motif of GOSR2, we examined the corresponding mutations in the yeast ortholog Bos1. Yeasts expressing the orthologous mutants in Bos1 showed impaired growth, suggesting a partial loss of function, which was more severe for the Bos1 p.Gly176Trp mutation. Using anisotropy and gel filtration, we report that Bos1 p.Gly176Trp and p.Arg196del are capable of complex formation, but with partly reduced activity. Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations showed that the hydrophobic core, which triggers SNARE complex formation, is compromised due to the glycine-to-tryptophan substitution in both GOSR2 and Bos1. In contrast, the deletion of residue p.Lys164 (or p.Arg196del in Bos1) interferes with the formation of hydrogen bonds between GOSR2 and syntaxin-5. Despite these perturbations, all SNARE complexes stayed intact during longer simulations. Thus, our data suggest that the milder course of disease in compound heterozygous PME is due to less severe impairment of the SNARE function.

Keywords: Bos1; GOSR2; GS27; Membrin; PME; Progressive myoclonus epilepsies.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Motifs
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Arginine / genetics
  • Computer Simulation
  • Endoplasmic Reticulum / metabolism*
  • Golgi Apparatus / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Models, Molecular
  • Mutation / genetics*
  • Myoclonic Epilepsies, Progressive / genetics*
  • Qb-SNARE Proteins / chemistry
  • Qb-SNARE Proteins / genetics*
  • SNARE Proteins / genetics*
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins / genetics


  • BOS1 protein, S cerevisiae
  • GOSR2 protein, human
  • Qb-SNARE Proteins
  • SNARE Proteins
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae Proteins
  • Arginine