- ATXN2-CAG42 sequesters PABPC1 into insolubility and induces FBXW8 in cerebellum of old ataxic knock-in mice (2012)
- Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 2 (SCA2) is caused by expansion of a polyglutamine encoding triplet repeat in the human ATXN2 gene beyond (CAG)31. This is thought to mediate toxic gain-of-function by protein aggregation and to affect RNA processing, resulting in degenerative processes affecting preferentially cerebellar neurons. As a faithful animal model, we generated a knock-in mouse replacing the single CAG of murine Atxn2 with CAG42, a frequent patient genotype. This expansion size was inherited stably. The mice showed phenotypes with reduced weight and later motor incoordination. Although brain Atxn2 mRNA became elevated, soluble ATXN2 protein levels diminished over time, which might explain partial loss-of-function effects. Deficits in soluble ATXN2 protein correlated with the appearance of insoluble ATXN2, a progressive feature in cerebellum possibly reflecting toxic gains-of-function. Since in vitro ATXN2 overexpression was known to reduce levels of its protein interactor PABPC1, we studied expansion effects on PABPC1. In cortex, PABPC1 transcript and soluble and insoluble protein levels were increased. In the more vulnerable cerebellum, the progressive insolubility of PABPC1 was accompanied by decreased soluble protein levels, with PABPC1 mRNA showing no compensatory increase. The sequestration of PABPC1 into insolubility by ATXN2 function gains was validated in human cell culture. To understand consequences on mRNA processing, transcriptome profiles at medium and old age in three different tissues were studied and demonstrated a selective induction of Fbxw8 in the old cerebellum. Fbxw8 is encoded next to the Atxn2 locus and was shown in vitro to decrease the level of expanded insoluble ATXN2 protein. In conclusion, our data support the concept that expanded ATXN2 undergoes progressive insolubility and affects PABPC1 by a toxic gain-of-function mechanism with tissuespecific effects, which may be partially alleviated by the induction of FBXW8.
- Ataxin-2 Modulates the Levels of Grb2 and Src but Not Ras Signaling (2013)
- Ataxin-2 (ATXN2) is implicated mainly in mRNA processing. Some ATXN2 associates with receptor tyrosine kinases (RTK), inhibiting their endocytic internalization through interaction of proline-rich domains (PRD) in ATXN2 with SH3 motifs in Src. Gain of function of ATXN2 leads to neuronal atrophy in the diseases spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Conversely, ATXN2 knockout (KO) mice show hypertrophy and insulin resistance. To elucidate the influence of ATXN2 on trophic regulation, we surveyed interactions of ATXN2 with SH3 motifs from numerous proteins and observed a novel interaction with Grb2. Direct binding in glutathione S-transferase (GST) pull-down assays and coimmunoprecipitation of the endogenous proteins indicated a physiologically relevant association. In SCA2 patient fibroblasts, Grb2 more than Src protein levels were diminished, with an upregulation of both transcripts suggesting enhanced protein turnover. In KO mouse embryonal fibroblasts (MEF), the protein levels of Grb2 and Src were decreased. ATXN2 absence by itself was insufficient to significantly change Grb2-dependent signaling for endogenous Ras levels, Ras-GTP levels, and kinetics as well as MEK1 phosphorylation, suggesting that other factors compensate for proliferation control. In KO tissue with postmitotic neurons, a significant decrease of Src protein levels is prominent rather than Grb2. ATXN2 mutations modulate the levels of several components of the RTK endocytosis complex and may thus contribute to alter cell proliferation as well as translation and growth.
- APADB: a database for alternative polyadenylation and microRNA regulation events (2014)
- Alternative polyadenylation (APA) is a widespread mechanism that contributes to the sophisticated dynamics of gene regulation. Approximately 50% of all protein-coding human genes harbor multiple polyadenylation (PA) sites; their selective and combinatorial use gives rise to transcript variants with differing length of their 3' untranslated region (3'UTR). Shortened variants escape UTR-mediated regulation by microRNAs (miRNAs), especially in cancer, where global 3'UTR shortening accelerates disease progression, dedifferentiation and proliferation. Here we present APADB, a database of vertebrate PA sites determined by 3' end sequencing, using massive analysis of complementary DNA ends. APADB provides (A)PA sites for coding and non-coding transcripts of human, mouse and chicken genes. For human and mouse, several tissue types, including different cancer specimens, are available. APADB records the loss of predicted miRNA binding sites and visualizes next-generation sequencing reads that support each PA site in a genome browser. The database tables can either be browsed according to organism and tissue or alternatively searched for a gene of interest. APADB is the largest database of APA in human, chicken and mouse. The stored information provides experimental evidence for thousands of PA sites and APA events. APADB combines 3' end sequencing data with prediction algorithms of miRNA binding sites, allowing to further improve prediction algorithms. Current databases lack correct information about 3'UTR lengths, especially for chicken, and APADB provides necessary information to close this gap. Database URL: http://tools.genxpro.net/apadb/
- Both Ubiquitin Ligases FBXW8 and PARK2 Are Sequestrated into Insolubility by ATXN2 PolyQ Expansions, but Only FBXW8 Expression Is Dysregulated (2015)
- The involvement of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in the course of various age-associated neurodegenerative diseases is well established. The single RING finger type E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase PARK2 is mutated in a Parkinson’s disease (PD) variant and was found to interact with ATXN2, a protein where polyglutamine expansions cause Spinocerebellar ataxia type 2 (SCA2) or increase the risk for Levodopa-responsive PD and for the motor neuron disease Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We previously reported evidence for a transcriptional induction of the multi-subunit RING finger Skp1/Cul/F-box (SCF) type E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase complex component FBXW8 in global microarray profiling of ATXN2-expansion mouse cerebellum and demonstrated its role for ATXN2 degradation in vitro. Now, we documented co-localization in vitro and co-immunoprecipitations both in vitro and in vivo, which indicate associations of FBXW8 with ATXN2 and PARK2. Both FBXW8 and PARK2 proteins are driven into insolubility by expanded ATXN2. Whereas the FBXW8 transcript upregulation by ATXN2- expansion was confirmed also in qPCR of skin fibroblasts and blood samples of SCA2 patients, a FBXW8 expression dysregulation was not observed in ATXN2-deficient mice, nor was a PARK2 transcript dysregulation observed in any samples. Jointly, all available data suggest that the degradation of wildtype and mutant ATXN2 is dependent on FBXW8, and that ATXN2 accumulation selectively modulates FBXW8 levels, while PARK2 might act indirectly through FBXW8. The effects of ATXN2-expansions on FBXW8 expression in peripheral tissues like blood may become useful for clinical diagnostics