Mutations in disordered regions can cause disease by creating dileucine motifs


  • K. Meyer
  • M. Kirchner
  • B. Uyar
  • J.Y. Cheng
  • G. Russo
  • L.R. Hernandez-Miranda
  • A. Szymborska
  • H. Zauber
  • I.M. Rudolph
  • T.E. Willnow
  • A. Akalin
  • V. Haucke
  • H. Gerhardt
  • C. Birchmeier
  • R. Kühn
  • M. Krauss
  • S. Diecke
  • J.M. Pascual
  • M. Selbach


  • Cell


  • Cell 175 (1): 239-253


  • Many disease-causing missense mutations affect intrinsically disordered regions (IDRs) of proteins, but the molecular mechanism of their pathogenicity is enigmatic. Here, we employ a peptide-based proteomic screen to investigate the impact of mutations in IDRs on protein-protein interactions. We find that mutations in disordered cytosolic regions of three transmembrane proteins (GLUT1, ITPR1, and CACNA1H) lead to an increased clathrin binding. All three mutations create dileucine motifs known to mediate clathrin-dependent trafficking. Follow-up experiments on GLUT1 (SLC2A1), the glucose transporter causative of GLUT1 deficiency syndrome, revealed that the mutated protein mislocalizes to intracellular compartments. Mutant GLUT1 interacts with adaptor proteins (APs) in vitro, and knocking down AP-2 reverts the cellular mislocalization and restores glucose transport. A systematic analysis of other known disease-causing variants revealed a significant and specific overrepresentation of gained dileucine motifs in structurally disordered cytosolic domains of transmembrane proteins. Thus, several mutations in disordered regions appear to cause "dileucineopathies."