Molecular features of the CAG repeats of spinocerebellar ataxia 6 (SCA6)
ABSTRACT Spinocerebellar ataxia 6 (SCA6) is an autosomal dominant spinocerebellar degeneration caused by the expansion of the polymorphic CAG repeat in the human alpha1A voltage-dependent calcium channel subunit gene (CACNL1A4 gene). We have analyzed 60 SCA6 individuals from 39 independent SCA6 Japanese families and found that the CAG repeat length is inversely correlated with the age of onset (n = 58, r = -0.51, P < 0.0001). SCA6 chromosomes contained 21-30 repeat units, whereas normal chromosomes displayed 6-17 repeats. There was no overlap between the normal and affected CAG repeat number. The anticipation of the disease was observed clinically in all eight parent-child pairs that we examined; the mean age of onset was significantly lower (P = 0.0042) in children than in parents. However, a parent-child analysis showed the increase in the expansion of CAG repeats only in one pair and no diminution in any affected cases. This result suggests that factors other than CAG repeats may produce the clinical anticipation. A homozygotic case could not demonstrate an unequivocal gene dosage effect on the age of onset.
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ABSTRACT: Trinucleotide repeat disorders (TRDs) are a set of genetic disorders caused by trinucleotide repeat expansion in certain genes that exceed the normal, stable threshold, which varies from gene to gene. A dynamic mutation in a healthy gene may increase the repeat count and result in a defective gene. At present there are 14 pathogenic trinucleotide repeat disorders that are known to affect humans. The occurrence of these “triplet repeat diseases” within populations ranges from fairly common (Fragile X syndrome and myotonic dystrophy type 1) to rare (Dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy). In the present study we report a detailed scenario of TRDs in India mostly in respect to the 9 most common disorders namely; Fragile X syndrome, Myotonic dystrophy type 1, Spinocerebellar ataxia (type 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7), Friedreich's Ataxia and Huntington Disease.European Journal of Medical Genetics 12/2014; 58(3):160-167. DOI:10.1016/j.ejmg.2014.12.010 · 1.49 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The cerebellum may monitor motor commands and through internal feedback correct for anticipated errors. Saccades provide a test of this idea because these movements are completed too quickly for sensory feedback to be useful. Earlier, we reported that motor commands that accelerate the eyes toward a constant amplitude target showed variability. Here, we demonstrate that this variability is not random noise, but is due to the cognitive state of the subject. Healthy people showed within-saccade compensation for this variability with commands that arrived later in the same saccade. However, in people with cerebellar damage, the same variability resulted in dysmetria. This ability to correct for variability in the motor commands that initiated a saccade was a predictor of each subject's ability to learn from endpoint errors. In a paradigm in which a target on the horizontal meridian jumped vertically during the saccade (resulting in an endpoint error), the adaptive response exhibited two timescales: a fast timescale that learned quickly from endpoint error but had poor retention, and a slow timescale that learned slowly but had strong retention. With cortical cerebellar damage, the fast timescale of adaptation was effectively absent, but the slow timescale was less impaired. Therefore, the cerebellum corrects for variability in the motor commands that initiate saccades within the same movement via an adaptive response that not only exhibits strong sensitivity to previous endpoint errors, but also rapid forgetting.The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience 10/2009; 29(41):12930-9. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3115-09.2009 · 6.75 Impact Factor
Article: calcium channelopathies[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Intracellular calcium ([Ca2+]i) is highly regulated in eukaryotic cells. The free [Ca2+]i is approximately four orders of magnitude less than that in the extracellular environment. It is, therefore, an electrochemical gradient favoring Ca2+ entry, and transient cellular activation increasing Ca2+ permeability will lead to a transient increase in [Ca2+]i. These transient rises of [Ca2+]i trigger or regulate diverse intracellular events, including metabolic processes, muscle contraction, secretion of hormones and neurotransmitters, cell differentiation, and gene expression. Hence, changes in [Ca2+]i act as a second messenger system coordinating modifications in the external environment with intracellular processes. Notably, information on the molecular genetics of the membrane channels responsible for the influx of Ca2+ ions has led to the discovery that mutations in these proteins are linked to human disease. Ca2+ channel dysfunction is now known to be the basis for several neurological and muscle disorders such as migraine, ataxia, and periodic paralysis. In contrast to other types of genetic diseases, Ca2+ channelopathies can be studied with precision by electrophysiological methods, and in some cases, the results have been highly rewarding with a biophysical phenotype that correlates with the ultimate clinical phenotype. This review outlines recent advances in genetic, molecular, and pathophysiological aspects of human Ca2+ channelopathies.NeuroMolecular Medicine 01/2006; 8(3):307-318. DOI:10.1385/NMM:8:3:307 · 3.89 Impact Factor