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"Nuclear inclusions in oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy consist of poly(A) binding protein 2 aggregates which sequester poly(A) RNA."

Calado A, Tome FM, Brais B, Rouleau GA, Kuhn U, Wahle E, Carmo-Fonseca M



Published 2000-09-22 in Hum Mol Genet volume 9 .

Pubmed ID: 11001936

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) is an adult-onset disease characterized by progressive eyelid drooping, swallowing difficulties and proximal limb weakness. The autosomal dominant form of the disease is caused by short (GCG)(8-13) expansions in the PABP2 gene. This gene encodes the poly(A) binding protein 2 (PABP2), an abundant nuclear protein that binds with high affinity to nascent poly(A) tails, stimulating their extension and controlling their length. In this work we report that PABP2 is detected in filamentous nuclear inclusions, which are the pathological hallmark of OPMD. Using both immunoelectron microscopy and fluorescence confocal microscopy, the OPMD-specific nuclear inclusions appeared decorated by anti-PABP2 antibodies. In addition, the inclusions were labeled with antibodies directed against ubiquitin and the subunits of the proteasome and contained a form of PABP2 that was more resistant to salt extraction than the protein dispersed in the nucleoplasm. This suggests that the polyalanine expansions in PABP2 induce a misfolding and aggregation of the protein into insoluble inclusions, similarly to events in neurodegenerative diseases caused by CAG/polyglutamine expansions. No significant differences were observed in the steady-state poly(A) tail length in OPMD and normal myoblasts. However, the nuclear inclusions were shown to sequester poly(A) RNA. This raises the possibility that in OPMD the polyalanine expansions in the PABP2 protein may interfere with the cellular traffic of poly(A) RNA.


This publication refers to the following RNApathwaysDB entries:

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