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Brain Res Mol Brain Res. 2005 Jul 29;138(1):70-83.

CAT 53: a protein phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit encoded in the MHC Class I region strongly expressed in regions of the brain involved in memory, learning, and Alzheimer's disease.

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Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, Forvie Site, Robinson Way, Cambridge CB2 2PY, UK.


We identified CAT 53 by cDNA hybridization selection as an expressed sequence tag (EST), located in the vicinity of HLA-C and designated as CAT (for HLA-C associated transcript) 53. CAT 53 encodes a protein described by others and commonly known as phosphatase 1 nuclear targeting subunit (PNUTS). PNUTS is a potent inhibitor of nuclear serine/threonine protein phosphatase 1 (PP1). We present the genomic organization of CAT 53, localize specific sites of mRNA transcription in thin sections of mouse brain by in-situ hybridization, and perform a structural analysis of the peptide domains. We also characterize the protein expression pattern for PNUTS by Western blotting and immunohistochemistry with PNUTS antibody in Alzheimer's disease (AD) brains and age-matched control brains. In-situ hybridization and immunohistochemistry analysis of human and mouse brain show high CAT 53 expression in the olfactory cortex, piriform cortex, and hippocampus. Very high expression of CAT 53 was found mainly in the hippocampus, frontal, and entorhinal cortex of control brains and in the neurofibrillary tangles of AD brain. In the hippocampus, CAT 53 is expressed in CA1 and CA3 cell layers and in the dentate gyrus. The hippocampus is known to play a fundamental role in learning and episodic memories and has been implicated in a number of neurological and psychiatric disorders, including AD, epilepsy, and schizophrenia. Our findings suggest that PNUTS, encoded by CAT 53 on 6p21.3, may have a role in the progression of AD.

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