Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Genet. 2001 Jan;27(1):117-20.

Mutations in GFAP, encoding glial fibrillary acidic protein, are associated with Alexander disease.

Author information

  • 1Department of Neurobiology, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

Abstract

Alexander disease is a rare disorder of the central nervous system of unknown etiology. Infants with Alexander disease develop a leukoencephalopathy with macrocephaly, seizures and psychomotor retardation, leading to death usually within the first decade; patients with juvenile or adult forms typically experience ataxia, bulbar signs and spasticity, and a more slowly progressive course. The pathological hallmark of all forms of Alexander disease is the presence of Rosenthal fibers, cytoplasmic inclusions in astrocytes that contain the intermediate filament protein GFAP in association with small heat-shock proteins. We previously found that overexpression of human GFAP in astrocytes of transgenic mice is fatal and accompanied by the presence of inclusion bodies indistinguishable from human Rosenthal fibers. These results suggested that a primary alteration in GFAP may be responsible for Alexander disease. Sequence analysis of DNA samples from patients representing different Alexander disease phenotypes revealed that most cases are associated with non-conservative mutations in the coding region of GFAP. Alexander disease therefore represents the first example of a primary genetic disorder of astrocytes, one of the major cell types in the vertebrate CNS.

Comment in

PMID:
11138011
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk