SCA1-like disease in mice expressing wild-type Ataxin-1 with a serine to aspartic acid replacement at residue 776

Lisa Duvick, Justin Barnes, Blake Ebner, Smita Agrawal, Michael Andresen, Janghoo Lim, Glenn J. Giesler, Huda Y. Zoghbi, Harry T. Orr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

105 Scopus citations

Abstract

Glutamine tract expansion triggers nine neurodegenerative diseases by conferring toxic properties to the mutant protein. In SCA1, phosphorylation of ATXN1 at Ser776 is thought to be key for pathogenesis. Here, we show that replacing Ser776 with a phosphomimicking Asp converted ATXN1 with a wild-type glutamine tract into a pathogenic protein. ATXN1[30Q]-D776-induced disease in Purkinje cells shared most features with disease caused by ATXN1[82Q] having an expanded polyglutamine tract. However, in contrast to disease induced by ATXN1[82Q] that progresses to cell death, ATXN1[30Q]-D776 failed to induce cell death. These results support a model where pathogenesis involves changes in regions of the protein in addition to the polyglutamine tract. Moreover, disease initiation and progression to neuronal dysfunction are distinct from induction of cell death. Ser776 is critical for the pathway to neuronal dysfunction, while an expanded polyglutamine tract is essential for neuronal death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)929-935
Number of pages7
JournalNeuron
Volume67
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Orion Rainwater and Robert Ehlenfeldt for propagation of transgenic mouse lines and DigiGait analysis. This study was supported by NIH/NINDS grants NS062561, NS048944 (J.B.), NS (H.Y.Z.), and NS022920 and NS045667 (H.T.O.).

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