Mutations in the LRRK2 Roc-COR tandem domain link Parkinson's disease to Wnt signalling pathways.
Mutations in PARK8, encoding LRRK2, are the most common known cause of Parkinson's disease. The LRRK2 Roc-COR tandem domain exhibits GTPase activity controlling LRRK2 kinase activity via an intramolecular process. We report the interaction of LRRK2 with the dishevelled family of phosphoproteins (DVL1-3), key regulators of Wnt (Wingless/Int) signalling pathways important for axon guidance, synapse formation and neuronal maintenance. Interestingly, DVLs can interact with and mediate the activation of small GTPases with structural similarity to the LRRK2 Roc domain. The LRRK2 Roc-COR domain and the DVL1 DEP domain were necessary and sufficient for LRRK2-DVL1 interaction. Co-expression of DVL1 increased LRRK2 steady-state protein levels, an effect that was dependent on the DEP domain. Strikingly, LRRK2-DVL1-3 interactions were disrupted by the familial PARK8 mutation Y1699C, whereas pathogenic mutations at residues R1441 and R1728 strengthened LRRK2-DVL1 interactions. Co-expression of DVL1 with LRRK2 in mammalian cells resulted in the redistribution of LRRK2 to typical cytoplasmic DVL1 aggregates in HEK293 and SH-SY5Y cells and co-localization in neurites and growth cones of differentiated dopaminergic SH-SY5Y cells. This is the first report of the modulation of a key LRRK2-accessory protein interaction by PARK8 Roc-COR domain mutations segregating with Parkinson's disease. Since the DVL1 DEP domain is known to be involved in the regulation of small GTPases, we propose that: (i) DVLs may influence LRRK2 GTPase activity, and (ii) Roc-COR domain mutations modulating LRRK2-DVL interactions indirectly influence kinase activity. Our findings also link LRRK2 to Wnt signalling pathways, suggesting novel pathogenic mechanisms and new targets for genetic analysis in Parkinson's disease.