Journal Article

Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy-like nuclear inclusions are present in normal magnocellular neurosecretory neurons of the hypothalamus

Maria T. Berciano, Nuria T. Villagra, Jose L. Ojeda, Joaquin Navascues, Anita Gomes, Miguel Lafarga and Maria Carmo-Fonseca

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 13, issue 8, pages 829-838
Published in print April 2004 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online February 2004 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddh101
Oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy-like nuclear inclusions are present in normal magnocellular neurosecretory neurons of the hypothalamus

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Intranuclear inclusions composed of tubular filaments constitute a pathological hallmark of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD). Autosomal dominant OPMD is caused by (GCG) repeat expansions in the gene that encodes for poly(A) binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1). The mutation results in the expansion of a polyalanine stretch in the N-terminus of the protein. It has been proposed that mutated PABPN1 induces protein aggregation, which in turn causes the formation of the filamentous nuclear inclusions. Here we report the presence of intranuclear inclusions composed of tubular filaments in oxytocin-producing neurons from normal rat hypothalamus. Like OPMD inclusions, the filamentous structures in neurosecretory neurons accumulate PABPN1, poly(A) RNA, ubiquitin and proteasomes. These inclusions do not contain members of Hsp40 and HDJ-2/DNAJ families of chaperones. The proportion of oxytocin-producing neurons that contain inclusions decreases during parturition and lactation (when synthesis and release of oxytocin is maximal) and increases at 1 day post-weaning (when occurs a drastic reduction in the production of the hormone). Thus, PABPN1 filaments in normal neurons are dynamic structures, the appearance of which correlate with changes in cellular activity. These data provide the first physiological evidence that polyalanine expansions are not essential to induce polymerization of PABPN1 into filamentous nuclear inclusions.

Journal Article.  6077 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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