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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2002 Jun;20(2):198-210.

Regulation of tau RNA maturation by thyroid hormone is mediated by the neural RNA-binding protein musashi-1.

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Instituto de Investigaciones Biomédicas Alberto Sols, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas-Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, Spain.


The tau gene encodes a microtubule-associated protein expressed by neuronal and glial cells. Abnormal deposits of Tau protein are characteristic of several neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, mutations affecting tau pre-mRNA alternative splicing of exon 10 are associated with frontotemporal dementia and Parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17. In rodents, this process is developmentally regulated by thyroid hormone (T3) causing the predominance of exon 10-containing transcripts. Here we demonstrate that musashi-1 (msi-1) gene is induced by T3 during rat brain development and in N2a cells. T3 increases msi-1 mRNA level in an actinomycin D-sensitive, cycloheximide-resistant fashion without affecting its half-life, which suggests a transcriptional effect. Both ectopic Msi-1 expression and T3 treatment increased the proportion of exon 10-containing tau transcripts. Furthermore, antisense msi-1 expression inhibited T3 action. Our results show that msi-1 mediates the posttranscriptional regulation of tau expression by T3.

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