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Cell. 1998 Oct 2;95(1):41-53.

Ataxin-1 nuclear localization and aggregation: role in polyglutamine-induced disease in SCA1 transgenic mice.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis 55455, USA.


Transgenic mice carrying the spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) gene, a polyglutamine neurodegenerative disorder, develop ataxia with ataxin-1 localized to aggregates within cerebellar Purkinje cells nuclei. To examine the importance of nuclear localization and aggregation in pathogenesis, mice expressing ataxin-1[82] with a mutated NLS were established. These mice did not develop disease, demonstrating that nuclear localization is critical for pathogenesis. In a second series of transgenic mice, ataxin-1[77] containing a deletion within the self-association region was expressed within Purkinje cells nuclei. These mice developed ataxia and Purkinje cell pathology similar to the original SCA1 mice. However, no evidence of nuclear ataxin-1 aggregates was found. Thus, although nuclear localization of ataxin-1 is necessary, nuclear aggregation of ataxin-1 is not required to initiate pathogenesis in transgenic mice.

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