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PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e49920. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0049920. Epub 2012 Nov 26.

Centrosomal localization of the psoriasis candidate gene product, CCHCR1, supports a role in cytoskeletal organization.

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Haartman Institute, Department of Medical Genetics, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.


CCHCR1 (Coiled-Coil α-Helical Rod protein 1), within the major psoriasis susceptibility locus PSORS1, is a plausible candidate gene with the psoriasis associated risk allele CCHCR1*WWCC. Although its expression pattern in psoriatic skin differs from healthy skin and its overexpression influences cell proliferation in transgenic mice, its role as a psoriasis effector gene has remained unsettled. The 5'-region of the gene contains a SNP (rs3130453) that controls a 5'-extended open reading frame and thus the translation of alternative isoforms. We have now compared the function of two CCHCR1 isoforms: the novel longer isoform 1 and the previously studied isoform 3. In samples of Finnish and Swedish families, the allele generating only isoform 3 shows association with psoriasis (P<10(-7)). Both isoforms localize at the centrosome, a cell organelle playing a role in cell division. In stably transfected cells the isoform 3 affects cell proliferation and with the CCHCR1*WWCC allele, also apoptosis. Furthermore, cells overexpressing CCHCR1 show isoform- and haplotype-specific influences in the cell size and shape and alterations in the organization and expression of the cytoskeletal proteins actin, vimentin, and cytokeratins. The isoform 1 with the non-risk allele induces the expression of keratin 17, a hallmark for psoriasis; the silencing of CCHCR1 reduces its expression in HEK293 cells. CCHCR1 also regulates EGF-induced STAT3 activation in an isoform-specific manner: the tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT3 is disturbed in isoform 3-transfected cells. The centrosomal localization of CCHCR1 provides a connection to the abnormal cell proliferation and offers a link to possible cellular pathways altered in psoriasis.

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