Spastin, a new AAA protein, is altered in the most frequent form of autosomal dominant spastic paraplegia
ABSTRACT Autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (AD-HSP) is a genetically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive spasticity of the lower limbs. Among the four loci causing AD-HSP identified so far, the SPG4 locus at chromosome 2p2-1p22 has been shown to account for 40-50% of all AD-HSP families. Using a positional cloning strategy based on obtaining sequence of the entire SPG4 interval, we identified a candidate gene encoding a new member of the AAA protein family, which we named spastin. Sequence analysis of this gene in seven SPG4-linked pedigrees revealed several DNA modifications, including missense, nonsense and splice-site mutations. Both SPG4 and its mouse orthologue were shown to be expressed early and ubiquitously in fetal and adult tissues. The sequence homologies and putative subcellular localization of spastin suggest that this ATPase is involved in the assembly or function of nuclear protein complexes.
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ABSTRACT: Mutations in NIPA1 cause hereditary spastic paraplegia type 6 (SPG6 HSP). Sequencing of the whole gene has revealed alterations of either of two nucleotides in eight of nine SPG6 HSP families reported to date. By analysing CpG methylation, we provide a mechanistic explanation for a mutational hotspot to underlie frequent alteration of one of these nucleotides. We also developed PCR RFLP assays to detect recurrent NIPA1 changes and screened 101 independent HSP patients, including 45 index patients of autosomal dominant HSP families. Our negative finding in this cohort for which several other causes of HSP had been excluded suggests NIPA1 alterations at mutational hotspots to be less frequent than previously thought. Nevertheless, the assays introduced represent a valid pre-screen easily implementable in the molecular diagnosis of HSP.Journal of the Neurological Sciences 06/2008; 268(1-2):131-5. DOI:10.1016/j.jns.2007.11.015 · 2.26 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Several recent studies have highlighted the role of axonal transport in the pathogenesis of motor neuron diseases. Mutations in genes that control microtubule regulation and dynamics have been shown to cause motor neuron degeneration in mice and in a form of human motor neuron disease. In addition, mutations in the molecular motors dynein and kinesins and several proteins associated with the membranes of intracellular vesicles that undergo transport cause motor neuron degeneration in humans and mice. Paradoxically, evidence from studies on the legs at odd angles (Loa) mouse and a transgenic mouse model for human motor neuron disease suggest that partial limitation of the function of dynein may in fact lead to improved axonal transport in the transgenic mouse, leading to delayed disease onset and increased life span.Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/2007; 85(12):2557-66. DOI:10.1002/jnr.21188 · 2.73 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: SPG4, the gene encoding for spastin, a member of the ATPases associated with various cellular activities (AAA) family, is mutated in around 40% of cases of autosomal dominant hereditary spastic paraplegia (AD-HSP). This group of neurodegenerative diseases is characterized by a progressive spasticity and lower limb weakness with degeneration of terminal axons in cortico-spinal tracts and dorsal columns. Spastin has two main domains, a microtubule interacting and endosomal trafficking (MIT) domain at the N-terminus and the C-terminus AAA domain. Early studies suggested that spastin interacts with microtubules similarly to katanin, a member of the same subgroup of AAA. Recent evidence confirmed that spastin possesses microtubule-severing activity but can also bundle microtubules in vitro. Understanding the physiologic and pathologic involvement of these activities and their regulation is critical in the study of HSP.Journal of Neuroscience Research 09/2007; 85(12):2778-82. DOI:10.1002/jnr.21238 · 2.73 Impact Factor