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Nat Neurosci. 2000 Feb;3(2):157-63.

Polyglutamine expansion down-regulates specific neuronal genes before pathologic changes in SCA1.

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1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, One Baylor Plaza, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.

Abstract

The expansion of an unstable CAG repeat causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) and several other neurodegenerative diseases. How polyglutamine expansions render the resulting proteins toxic to neurons, however, remains elusive. Hypothesizing that long polyglutamine tracts alter gene expression, we found certain neuronal genes involved in signal transduction and calcium homeostasis sequentially downregulated in SCA1 mice. These genes were abundant in Purkinje cells, the primary site of SCA1 pathogenesis; moreover, their downregulation was mediated by expanded ataxin-1 and occurred before detectable pathology. Similar downregulation occurred in SCA1 human tissues. Altered gene expression may be the earliest mediator of polyglutamine toxicity.

PMID:
10649571
DOI:
10.1038/72101
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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