Differences in stability, activity and mutation effects between human and mouse Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 Rebekah G. Langston1, Iakov N. Rudenko1,2, Ravindran Kumaran1, David N. Hauser1, Alice Kaganovich1, Luis Bonet Ponce1, Adamantios Mamais1, Kelechi Ndukwe1,3, Alissa A. Dillman1,4, Amr M. Al-Saif1, Aleksandra Beilina1 and Mark R. Cookson1* 1Cell Biology and Gene Expression Section, Laboratory of Neurogenetics, NIA, NIH; 2Department of Neurology, SUNY at Stony Brook; 3Medical College of Wisconsin; 4Laboratory of Receptor Biology and Gene Expression, National Cancer Institute *Corresponding author
Mutations in the Leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) gene have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD). Identification of PD-associated LRRK2 mutations has led to the development of novel animal models, primarily in mice. However, the characteristics of human LRRK2 and mouse Lrrk2 protein have not previously been directly compared. Here we show that proteins from different species have different biochemical properties, with the mouse protein being more stable but having significantly lower kinase activity compared to the human orthologue. In examining the effects of PD-associated mutations and risk factors on protein function, we found that conserved substitutions such as G2019S affect human and mouse LRRK2 proteins similarly, but variation around position 2385, which is not fully conserved between humans and mice, induces divergent in vitro behavior. Overall our results indicate that structural differences between human and mouse LRRK2 are likely responsible for the different properties we have observed for these two species of LRRK2 protein. These results have implications for disease modelling of LRRK2 mutations in mice and on the testing of pharmacological therapies in animals.