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J Biol Chem. 2008 Mar 7;283(10):6489-500. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M705306200. Epub 2007 Dec 31.

RNA-binding protein TLS is a major nuclear aggregate-interacting protein in huntingtin exon 1 with expanded polyglutamine-expressing cells.

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  • 1Laboratory for Structural Neuropathology, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, 2-1 Hirosawa Wako-shi, Saitama, Japan.


Formation of intracellular aggregates is the hallmark of polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases. We analyzed the components of purified nuclear polyQ aggregates by mass spectrometry. As a result, we found that the RNA-binding protein translocated in liposarcoma (TLS) was one of the major components of nuclear polyQ aggregate-interacting proteins in a Huntington disease cell model and was also associated with neuronal intranuclear inclusions of R6/2 mice. In vitro study revealed that TLS could directly bind to truncated N-terminal huntingtin (tNhtt) aggregates but could not bind to monomer GST-tNhtt with 18, 42, or 62Q, indicating that the tNhtt protein acquired the ability to sequester TLS after forming aggregates. Thioflavin T assay and electron microscopic study further supported the idea that TLS bound to tNhtt-42Q aggregates at the early stage of tNhtt-42Q amyloid formation. Immunohistochemistry showed that TLS was associated with neuronal intranuclear inclusions of Huntington disease human brain. Because TLS has a variety of functional roles, the sequestration of TLS to polyQ aggregates may play a role in diverse pathological changes in the brains of patients with polyQ diseases.

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