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Behav Brain Res. 2012 Feb 1;227(1):12-20. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2011.10.024. Epub 2011 Oct 21.

Abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells and impaired motor learning in DYT11 myoclonus-dystonia mouse models.

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Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32610, USA.


Myoclonus-dystonia (M-D) is a movement disorder characterized by myoclonic jerks with dystonia. DYT11 M-D is caused by mutations in SGCE which codes for ɛ-sarcoglycan. SGCE is maternally imprinted and paternally expressed. Abnormal nuclear envelope has been reported in mouse models of DYT1 generalized torsion dystonia. However, it is not known whether similar alterations occur in DYT11 M-D. We developed a mouse model of DYT11 M-D using paternally inherited Sgce heterozygous knockout (Sgce KO) mice and reported that they had myoclonus and motor coordination and learning deficits in the beam-walking test. However, the specific brain regions that contribute to these phenotypes have not been identified. Since ɛ-sarcoglycan is highly expressed in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, here we examined the nuclear envelope in these cells using a transmission electron microscope and found that they are abnormal in Sgce KO mice. Our results put DYT11 M-D in a growing family of nuclear envelopathies. To analyze the effect of loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan function in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, we produced paternally inherited cerebellar Purkinje cell-specific Sgce conditional knockout (Sgce pKO) mice. Sgce pKO mice showed motor learning deficits, while they did not show abnormal nuclear envelope in the cerebellar Purkinje cells, robust motor deficits, or myoclonus. The results suggest that ɛ-sarcoglycan in the cerebellar Purkinje cells contributes to the motor learning, while loss of ɛ-sarcoglycan in other brain regions may contribute to nuclear envelope abnormality, myoclonus and motor coordination deficits.

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