Mutations that increase the protein kinase activity of LRRK2 are one of the most common causes of familial Parkinson's disease. LRRK2 phosphorylates a subset of Rab GTPases within their Switch-II motif, impacting interaction with effectors. We describe and validate a new, multiplexed targeted mass spectrometry assay to quantify endogenous levels of LRRK2-phosphorylated Rab substrates (Rab1, Rab3, Rab8, Rab10, Rab35 and Rab43) as well as total levels of Rabs, LRRK2 and LRRK2-phosphorylated at the Ser910 and Ser935 biomarker sites. Exploiting this assay, we quantify for the first time the relative levels of each of the pRab proteins in different cells (mouse embryonic fibroblasts, human neutrophils) and mouse tissues (brain, kidney, lung and spleen). We define how these components are impacted by Parkinson’s pathogenic mutations (LRRK2[R1441C] and VPS35[D620N]) and LRRK2 inhibitors. We find that the VPS35[D620N], but not LRRK2[R1441C] mutation, enhances Rab1 phosphorylation in a manner blocked by administration of an LRRK2 inhibitor, providing the first evidence that endogenous Rab1 is a physiological substrate for LRRK2. We exploit this assay to demonstrate that in Parkinson’s patients with VPS35[D620N] mutations, phosphorylation of multiple Rab proteins (Rab1, Rab3, Rab8, Rab10 and Rab43) is elevated. We highlight the benefits of this assay over immunoblotting approaches currently deployed to assess LRRK2 Rab signalling pathway.

This content is only available as a PDF.
This is an Accepted Manuscript; not the final Version of Record. You are encouraged to use the final Version of Record that, when published, will replace this manuscript and be freely available under a Creative Commons licence.