Rescue of secretion of a rare-disease associated mis-folded mutant glycoprotein in UGGT1 knock-out mammalian cells.
Tax G., Guay KP., Soldà T., Hitchman CJ., Hill JC., Vasiljević S., Lia A., Modenutti CP., Straatman KR., Santino A., Molinari M., Zitzmann N., Hebert DN., Roversi P., Trerotola M.
UNLABELLED: Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) retention of mis-folded glycoproteins is mediated by the ER- localised eukaryotic glycoprotein secretion checkpoint, UDP-glucose glycoprotein glucosyl-transferase (UGGT). The enzyme recognises a mis-folded glycoprotein and flags it for ER retention by reglucosylating one of its N-linked glycans. In the background of a congenital mutation in a secreted glycoprotein gene, UGGT-mediated ER retention can cause rare disease even if the mutant glycoprotein retains activity ("responsive mutant"). Here, we investigated the subcellular localisation of the human Trop-2 Q118E variant, which causes gelatinous drop- like corneal dystrophy (GDLD). Compared with the wild type Trop-2, which is correctly localised at the plasma membrane, the Trop-2-Q118E variant is found to be heavily retained in the ER. Using Trop-2-Q118E, we tested UGGT modulation as a rescue-of-secretion therapeutic strategy for congenital rare disease caused by responsive mutations in genes encoding secreted glycoproteins. We investigated secretion of a EYFP-fusion of Trop-2-Q118E by confocal laser scanning microscopy. As a limiting case of UGGT inhibition, mammalian cells harbouring CRISPR/Cas9-mediated inhibition of the UGGT1 and/or UGGT2 gene expressions were used. The membrane localisation of the Trop-2-Q118E-EYFP mutant was successfully rescued in UGGT1 -/- and UGGT1/2 -/- cells. UGGT1 also efficiently reglucosylated Trop-2-Q118E-EYFP in cellula . The study supports the hypothesis that UGGT1 modulation constitutes a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of Trop-2-Q118E associated GDLD, and it encourages the testing of modulators of ER glycoprotein folding Quality Control (ERQC) as broad-spectrum rescue- of-secretion drugs in rare diseases caused by responsive secreted glycoprotein mutants. SYNOPSIS: Deletion of the UGGT1 and UGGT1/2 genes in HEK 293T cells rescues secretion of an EYFP-fusion of the human Trop-2-Q118E glycoprotein mutant. The mutant is retained in the secretory pathway in wild type cells and it localises to the cell membrane in UGGT1 -/- single and UGGT1/2 -/- double knock-out cells. The Trop-2-Q118E glycoprotein disease mutant is efficiently glucosylated by UGGT1 in human cells demonstrating that it is a bona fide cellular UGGT1 substrate.