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Identification of a muscle-specific isoform of VMA21 as a potent actor in X-linked myopathy with excessive autophagy pathogenesis

Defective lysosomal acidification is responsible for a large range of multi-systemic disorders associated with impaired autophagy. Diseases caused by mutations in the VMA21 gene stand as exceptions, specifically affecting skeletal muscle (X-linked Myopathy with Excessive Autophagy, XMEA) or liver (Congenital Disorder of Glycosylation). VMA21 chaperones vacuolar (v-) ATPase assembly, which is ubiquitously required for proper lysosomal acidification. The reason VMA21 deficiencies affect specific, but divergent tissues remains unknown. Here, we show that VMA21 encodes a yet-unreported long protein isoform, in addition to the previously described short isoform, which we name VMA21-120 and VMA21-101, respectively.