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The autoimmunity-related GIMAP5 GTPase is a lysosome-associated protein

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • Vivian Wy Wong
  • Amy E Saunders
  • Amanda Hutchings
  • John C Pascall
  • Christine Carter
  • Nicholas A Bright
  • Simon A Walker
  • Nicholas T Ktistakis
  • Geoffrey W Butcher
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/07/2010
Issue number3
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)259-268
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


A mutation in the rat GIMAP5 gene predisposes for autoimmunity, most famously in the BB rat model of autoimmune type 1 diabetes mellitus. This mutation is associated with severe peripheral T lymphopenia, as is mutation of the same gene in mice, but the mechanism by which GIMAP5 normally protects T cells from death is unknown. GIMAP5 is a putative small GTPase, a class of proteins which often fulfil their functions in the vicinity of cellular membranes. The objective of this study was to determine the normal intracellular location of GIMAP5 in lymphoid cells. Combining studies in rat, mouse and human systems, novel monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) were used to examine the localization of GIMAP5 and the closely-related protein, GIMAP1, in lymphoid cells by means of confocal microscopy and sub-cellular fractionation combined with immunoblotting. Additionally, human Jurkat T cells that inducibly express epitope-tagged GIMAP5 were established and used in electron microscopy (EM). Endogenous GIMAP5 was found to be located in a membraneous compartment/s which was also detected by established markers of lysosomes. GIMAP1, by contrast, was found to be located in the Golgi apparatus. EM studies of the inducible Jurkat T cells also found GIMAP5 in lysosomes and, in addition, in multivesicular bodies. This study establishes that the endogenous location of GIMAP5 is in lysosomes and related compartments and provides a clearer context for hypotheses about its mechanism of action.