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The phosphatase FIG4 and the scaffold protein VAC14 function in the biosynthesis of PI(3,5)P2, a signaling lipid that inhibits the lysosomal chloride transporter ClC-7. Loss-of-function mutations of FIG4 and VAC14 reduce PI(3,5)P2 and result in lysosomal disorders characterized by accumulation of enlarged lysosomes and neurodegeneration. Similarly, a gain of function mutation of CLCN7 encoding ClC-7 also results in enlarged lysosomes. We therefore tested the ability of reduced CLCN7 expression to compensate for loss of FIG4 or VAC14. Knock-out of CLCN7 corrected lysosomal swelling and partially corrected lysosomal hyperacidification in FIG4 null cell cultures. Knockout of the related transporter CLCN6 (ClC-6) in FIG4 null cells did not affect the lysosome phenotype. In the Fig4 null mouse, reduction of ClC-7 by expression of the dominant negative CLCN7 variant p.Gly215Arg improved growth and neurological function and increased lifespan by 20%. These observations demonstrate a role for the CLCN7 chloride transporter in pathogenesis of FIG4 and VAC14 disorders. Reduction of CLCN7 provides a new target for treatment of FIG4 and VAC14 deficiencies that lack specific therapies, such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 4J and Yunis-VarĂ³n syndrome. Copyright: This is an open access article, free of all copyright, and may be freely reproduced, distributed, transmitted, modified, built upon, or otherwise used by anyone for any lawful purpose. The work is made available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication.


Xu Cao, Guy M Lenk, Vedrana Mikusevic, Joseph A Mindell, Miriam H Meisler. The chloride antiporter CLCN7 is a modifier of lysosome dysfunction in FIG4 and VAC14 mutants. PLoS genetics. 2023 Jun;19(6):e1010800

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PMID: 37363915

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