Optineurin is a gene associated with normal tension glaucoma (NTG) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Foci formation and functional consequences including Golgi fragmentation, impairment of vesicle trafficking and apoptosis were observed previously upon overexpression and/or mutation of optineurin. In the current study, a total of 15 GFP tagged constructs that included NTG (E50K and 2 bp-AG insertion), ALS (exon 5 deletion, R96L, Q398X, and E478G) and non-disease (L157A and D474N) associated mutants and a series of deletion fragments were cloned into mammalian expression vectors and transfected into RGC5 and/or Neuro2A cells to evaluate whether their expression confer the optineurin phenotypes. The cells were monitored for foci formation and stained by immunofluorescence with anti-GM130 to analyze the Golgi integrity. Transferrin uptake experiments were performed to evaluate the protein trafficking process and apoptosis was assessed with the active caspase 3/7 detection kit. We demonstrated that cells expressing E50K and R96L optineurin exhibited all of the optineurin phenotypes. Q398X mutant did not induce foci formation, but triggered Golgi fragmentation, impairment of transferrin uptake and increase in apoptosis. The 2 bp-AG insertion mutant had a nuclear localization, compromised the transferrin uptake and strongly induced apoptosis. The foci formation, which might not predict the rest of the phenotypes, appeared to require both the leucine zipper and ubiquitin binding domains of the optineurin sequence. Interactions of optineurin with proteins including Rab8, myosin VI, huntingtin and transferrin receptor might directly determine whether the Golgi and protein trafficking phenotypes would be manifested. Examination of mutants and deletion fragments located at various sites of optineurin gene provide clues as to what regions of the gene may play a critical role in the development of pathologic consequences.
Turturro, S., Shen, X., Shyam, R., Yue, B. Y. J. T., & Ying, H. (2014). Effects of mutations and deletions in the human optineurin gene. SpringerPlus, 3(1). https://doi.org/10.1186/2193-1801-3-99