SorLA signaling by regulated intramembrane proteolysis
J Biol Chem 281(21): 14547-53
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The single-transmembrane receptor SorLA/LR11 contains binding domains typical for lipoprotein receptors and a VPS10 domain, which binds the neuropeptide head-activator. This undecapeptide enhances proliferation of neuronal precursor cells in a SorLA-dependent manner. Using specific inhibitors we found previously that head activator activates shedding of SorLA by the metalloprotease TACE close to the transmembrane domain releasing the large extra-cellular part of the receptor. Here we show that the remaining COOH-terminal membrane fragment of SorLA is processed by gamma-secretase. Inhibition of gamma-secretase by specific inhibitors or overexpression of dominant negative presenilin mutants and knock out of the presenilin genes led to accumulation of the SorLA membrane fragment and also of full-length SorLA in the membrane. In an in vitro assay we observed the gamma-secretase-dependent release of the two soluble cleavage products, the SorLA cytoplasmic domain and the SorLA beta-peptide. These processing steps are reminiscent of a novel signaling pathway that has been described for the notch receptor. Here, the notch cytoplasmic domain is released into the cytoplasm by the gamma-secretase and migrates to the nucleus where it acts as a transcriptional regulator. In parallel we found that a fusion protein of the released cytoplasmic tail of SorLA with EGFP located to the nucleus only if the nuclear localization signal of SorLA was intact. In a reporter gene assay the cytoplasmic domain of SorLA acted as a transcriptional activator indicating that SorLA might directly regulate transcription after activation by gamma-secretase.