A novel topology of proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2): Hints for an intracellular function at the synapse

Pia Rossi, Bruno Sterlini, Enrico Castroflorio, Antonella Marte, Franco Onofri, Flavia Valtorta, Luca Maragliano, Anna Corradi, Fabio Benfenati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Proline-rich transmembrane protein 2 (PRRT2) has been identified as the single causative gene for a group of paroxysmal syndromes of infancy, including epilepsy, paroxysmal movement disorders, and migraine. On the basis of topology predictions, PRRT2 has been assigned to the recently characterized family of Dispanins, whose members share the two-transmembrane domain topology with a large N terminus and short C terminus oriented toward the outside of the cell. Because PRRT2 plays a role at the synapse, it is important to confirm the exact orientation of its N and C termini with respect to the plasma membrane to get clues regarding its possible function. Using a combination of different experimental approaches, including live immunolabeling, immunogold electron microscopy, surface biotinylation and computational modeling, we demonstrate a novel topology for this protein. PRRT2 is a type II transmembrane protein in which only the second hydrophobic segment spans the plasma membrane, whereas the first one is associated with the internal surface of the membrane and forms a helix-loop-helix structure without crossing it. Most importantly, the large proline-rich N-terminal domain is not exposed to the extracellular space but is localized intracellularly, and only the short C terminus is extracellular (Ncyt/Cexo topology). Accordingly, we show that PRRT2 interacts with the Src homology 3 domain-bearing protein Intersectin 1, an intracellular protein involved in synaptic vesicle cycling. These findings will contribute to the clarification of the role of PRRT2 at the synapse and the understanding of pathogenic mechanisms on the basis of PRRT2-related neurological disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6111-6123
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Mar 18 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology
  • Molecular Biology


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