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The KIAA0319 gene has been associated with reading disability in several studies. It encodes a plasma membrane protein with a large, highly glycosylated, extracellular domain. This protein is proposed to function in adhesion and attachment and thought to play an important role during neuronal migration in the developing brain. We have previously proposed that endocytosis of this protein could constitute an important mechanism to regulate its function. Here we show that KIAA0319 undergoes ectodomain shedding and intramembrane cleavage. At least five different cleavage events occur, four in the extracellular domain and one within the transmembrane domain. The ectodomain shedding processing cleaves the extracellular domain, generating several small fragments, including the N-terminal region with the Cys-rich MANEC domain. It is possible that these fragments are released to the extracellular medium and trigger cellular responses. The intramembrane cleavage releases the intracellular domain from its membrane attachment. Our results suggest that this cleavage event is not carried out by γ-secretase, the enzyme complex involved in similar processing in many other type I proteins. The soluble cytoplasmic domain of KIAA0319 is able to translocate to the nucleus, accumulating in nucleoli after overexpression. This fragment has an unknown role, although it could be involved in regulation of gene expression. The absence of DNA-interacting motifs indicates that such a function would most probably be mediated through interaction with other proteins, not by direct DNA binding. These results suggest that KIAA0319 not only has a direct role in neuronal migration but may also have additional signaling functions.

Original publication




Journal article


J Biol Chem

Publication Date





40148 - 40162


Active Transport, Cell Nucleus, Amyloid Precursor Protein Secretases, Animals, Brain, Cell Movement, Cell Nucleus, Dyslexia, Gene Expression Regulation, HEK293 Cells, Humans, Mice, Mice, Knockout, Nerve Tissue Proteins, Neurons, Protein Structure, Tertiary, Signal Transduction