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Neuroscience. 2011 Aug 25;189:100-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2011.05.031. Epub 2011 May 19.

Identification and localization of a neuron-specific isoform of TAF1 in rat brain: implications for neuropathology of DYT3 dystonia.

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Parkinson's Disease and Dystonia Research Center, Tokushima University Hospital, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Institute of Health Biosciences, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokushima, Tokushima 770-8503, Japan.


The neuron-specific isoform of the TAF1 gene (N-TAF1) is thought to be involved in the pathogenesis of DYT3 dystonia, which leads to progressive neurodegeneration in the striatum. To determine the expression pattern of N-TAF1 transcripts, we developed a specific monoclonal antibody against the N-TAF1 protein. Here we show that in the rat brain, N-TAF1 protein appears as a nuclear protein within subsets of neurons in multiple brain regions. Of particular interest is that in the striatum, the nuclei possessing N-TAF1 protein are largely within medium spiny neurons, and they are distributed preferentially, though not exclusively, in the striosome compartment. The compartmental preference and cell type-selective distribution of N-TAF1 protein in the striatum are strikingly similar to the patterns of neuronal loss in the striatum of DYT3 patients. Our findings suggest that the distribution of N-TAF1 protein could represent a key molecular characteristic contributing to the pattern of striatal degeneration in DYT3 dystonia.

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