Send to

Choose Destination
Hum Mol Genet. 2008 May 15;17(10):1436-45. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddn032. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

siRNA knock-down of mutant torsinA restores processing through secretory pathway in DYT1 dystonia cells.

Author information

Molecular Neurogenetics Unit, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.


Most cases of the dominantly inherited movement disorder, early onset torsion dystonia (DYT1) are caused by a mutant form of torsinA lacking a glutamic acid residue in the C-terminal region (torsinADeltaE). TorsinA is an AAA+ protein located predominantly in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and nuclear envelope apparently involved in membrane structure/movement and processing of proteins through the secretory pathway. A reporter protein Gaussia luciferase (Gluc) shows a reduced rate of secretion in primary fibroblasts from DYT1 patients expressing endogenous levels of torsinA and torsinADeltaE when compared with control fibroblasts expressing only torsinA. In this study, small interfering RNA (siRNA) oligonucleotides were identified, which downregulate the levels of torsinA or torsinADeltaE mRNA and protein by over 65% following transfection. Transfection of siRNA for torsinA message in control fibroblasts expressing Gluc reduced levels of luciferase secretion compared with the same cells non-transfected or transfected with a non-specific siRNA. Transfection of siRNA selectively inhibiting torsinADeltaE message in DYT fibroblasts increased luciferase secretion when compared with cells non-transfected or transfected with a non-specific siRNA. Further, transduction of DYT1 cells with a lentivirus vector expressing torsinA, but not torsinB, also increased secretion. These studies are consistent with a role for torsinA as an ER chaperone affecting processing of proteins through the secretory pathway and indicate that torsinADeltaE acts to inhibit this torsinA activity. The ability of allele-specific siRNA for torsinADeltaE to normalize secretory function in DYT1 patient cells supports its potential role as a therapeutic agent in early onset torsion dystonia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center