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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1997 Apr 17;233(2):476-9.

Machado-Joseph disease gene product identified in lymphocytes and brain.

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Department of Neurology, Institute for Brain Research, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Bunkyo-ku, Japan.


Machado-Joseph disease (MJD) is associated with the expansion of an unstable CAG repeat. The existence of an abnormal gene product in MJD was previously suggested with the expanded polyglutamine stretch-specific antibody. However, the product of the normal allele has not previously been identified. We generated monoclonal antibodies against the fusion protein (codon 225-310) of the MJD gene product and then identified the MJD1 gene product in normal lymphoblastoid cells as a approximately 50-kDa protein by immunoblot analysis. The electrophoretic mobility differences among the normal allele products corresponds to the molecular size difference produced by the polyglutamine stretch and the polymorphism at the C-terminus. Moreover, abnormal immunoreactive bands which were larger than the normal ones were found as a approximately 60-kDa protein exclusively in the MJD samples. The cytoplasm and the nuclei of neurons and glial cells were stained by these antibodies with immunocytochemistry. As in other CAG repeat diseases, the abnormal and normal allele products were almost equally expressed in lymphoblastoid cells and the brain of MJD patients.

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