Mutations in THAP1 were recently identified as the cause of DYT6 primary dystonia; a founder mutation was detected in Amish-Mennonite families, and a different mutation was identified in another family of European descent. To assess more broadly the role of this gene, we screened for mutations in families that included one family member who had early-onset, non-focal primary dystonia.
We identified 36 non-DYT1 multiplex families in which at least one person had non-focal involvement at an age of onset that was younger than 22 years. All three coding exons of THAP1 were sequenced, and the clinical features of individuals with mutations were compared with those of individuals who were negative for mutations in THAP1. Genotype-phenotype differences were also assessed.
Of 36 families, nine (25%) had members with mutations in THAP1, and most were of German, Irish, or Italian ancestry. One family had the Amish-Mennonite founder mutation, whereas the other eight families each had novel, potentially truncating or missense mutations. The clinical features of the families with mutations conformed to the previously described DYT6 phenotype; however, age at onset was extended from 38 years to 49 years. Compared with non-carriers, mutation carriers were younger at onset and their dystonia was more likely to begin in brachial, rather than cervical, muscles, become generalised, and include speech involvement. Genotype-phenotype differences were not found.
Mutations in THAP1 underlie a substantial proportion of early-onset primary dystonia in non-DYT1 families. The clinical features that are characteristic of affected individuals who have mutations in THAP1 include limb and cranial muscle involvement, and speech is often affected.
Dystonia Medical Research Foundation; Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; Aaron Aronov Family Foundation.
"The progress in discovering dystonia genes and the characterization of their protein products represent the most promising, rational direction for development of evidence-based interventions aimed at treating or preventing these enigmatic illnesses. Since the discovery of THAP1 as the gene mutated in DYT6 dystonia [1-4], very little information has emerged about the biology of Thap1 protein speciation and distribution, particularly in the brain. These data are required for study of the function of the protein and for elucidation of the mechanism(s) via which mutations in THAP1 cause dystonia. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mutations in THAP1 result in dystonia type 6, with partial penetrance and variable phenotype. The goal of this study was to examine the nature and expression pattern of the protein product(s) of the Thap1 transcription factor (DYT6 gene) in mouse neurons, and to study the regional and developmental distribution, and subcellular localization of Thap1 protein. The goal was accomplished via overexpression and knock-down of Thap1 in the HEK293T cell line and in mouse striatal primary cultures and western blotting of embryonic Thap1-null tissue. The endogenous and transduced Thap1 isoforms were characterized using three different commercially available anti-Thap1 antibodies and validated by immunoprecipitation and DNA oligonucleotide affinity chromatography. We identified multiple, novel Thap1 species of apparent Mr 32 kDa, 47 kDa, and 50¿52 kDa in vitro and in vivo, and verified the previously identified species at 29¿30 kDa in neurons. The Thap1 species at the 50 kDa size range was exclusively detected in murine brain and testes and were located in the nuclear compartment. Thus, in addition to the predicted 25 kDa apparent Mr, we identified Thap1 species with greater apparent Mr that we speculate may be a result of posttranslational modifications. The neural localization of the 50 kDa species and its nuclear compartmentalization suggests that these may be key Thap1 species controlling neuronal gene transcription. Dysfunction of the neuronal 50 kDa species may therefore be implicated in the pathogenesis of DYT6.
"The p.Arg169Gln mutation has been described before in an early-onset familial case.7 A prediction based on in silico analysis resulted in a possible deleterious effect (PolyPhen2), although using SIFT the amino acid substitution was predicted to be tolerated. While some homozygous mutations in the THAP1 gene have been described, this is, to our knowledge, the first report of compound heterozygous mutations.7,9–12 The novel nonsense mutation p.Gln97Ter is predicted to be deleterious because the premature termination codon is in a position that allows it to escape the nonsense-mediated mRNA decay pathway. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Several genes associated with dystonia have been identified. A mutation in one of these, THAP1 (DYT6), is linked to isolated dystonia. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of THAP1 gene mutations and the clinical characteristics of patients with these mutations in a clinical population in Brazil.
Seventy-four patients presenting with dystonia involving the cervical muscles and without mutations in the TOR1A (DYT1) gene or any other movement disorders were recruited at a movement disorders clinic between June 2008 and June 2009. All the patients underwent clinical examination and were screened for mutations of the THAP1 gene.
Three patients had the novel p.Gln97Ter THAP1 nonsense mutation in heterozygosis. One of them had no family history of dystonia. Symptoms in this patient first appeared in his right arm, and the condition progressed to the generalized form. The other two patients belonged to the same family (cousins). Symptoms in the first patient started in her right arm at the age of 18 years and the condition progressed to the segmental form. The second patient, who carried the p.Arg169Gln missense mutation, developed dystonia in her left arm at the age of 6 years. The condition progressed to generalized dystonia.
We conclude that THAP1 mutations are also a cause, albeit uncommon, of segmental and generalized dystonia in the Brazilian population.
"Moreover, deregulations in functions performed by human THAP proteins have been associated with severe human diseases such as dystonia (Bragg et al. 2011), heart disease (Balakrishnan et al. 2009) and several types of cancer (Parker et al. 2012; De Souza et al. 2008; Lian et al. 2012). Notably, in 2009, a genetic link between the THAP1 gene and a hereditary disease called primary dystonia DYT6 has been discovered (Fuchs et al. 2009; Bressman et al. 2009; Djarmati et al. 2009). Primary torsion dystonias refer to a variety of movement disorders that are associated with dysfunction in central nervous system regions controlling movement [for review (Muller 2009)]. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The THAP (THanatos-Associated Protein) domain is an evolutionary conserved C2CH zinc-coordinating domain shared with a large family of cellular factors (THAP proteins). Many members of the THAP family act as transcription factors that control cell proliferation, cell cycle progression, angiogenesis, apoptosis and epigenetic gene silencing. They recognize specific DNA sequences in the promoters of target genes and subsequently recruit effector proteins. Recent structural and functional studies have allowed getting better insight into the nuclear and cellular functions of some THAP members and the molecular mechanisms by which they recognize DNA. The present article reviews recent advances in the knowledge of the THAP domains structures and their interaction with DNA, with a particular focus on NMR. It provides the solution structure of the THAP domain of THAP11, a recently characterized human THAP protein with important functions in transcription and cell growth in colon cancer.
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