C-termini of P/Q-type Ca2+ channel alpha1A subunits translocate to nuclei and promote polyglutamine-mediated toxicity. Hum Mol Genet

University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, Minnesota, United States
Human Molecular Genetics (Impact Factor: 6.39). 06/2006; 15(10):1587-99. DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddl080
Source: PubMed


P/Q-type voltage-gated calcium channels are regulated, in part, through the cytoplasmic C-terminus of their alpha1A subunit. Genetic absence or alteration of the C-terminus leads to abnormal channel function and neurological disease. Here, we show that the terminal 60-75 kDa of the endogenous alpha1A C-terminus is cleaved from the full-length protein and is present in cell nuclei. Antiserum to the C-terminus (CT-2) labels both wild-type mouse and human Purkinje cell nuclei, but not leaner mouse cerebellum. Human embryonic kidney cells stably expressing beta3 and alpha2delta subunits and transiently transfected with full-length human alpha1A contain a 75 kDa CT-2 reactive peptide in their nuclear fraction. Primary granule cells transfected with C-terminally Green fluorescent protein (GFP)-tagged alpha1A exhibit GFP nuclear labeling. Nuclear translocation depends partly on the presence of three nuclear localization signals within the C-terminus. The C-terminal fragment bears a polyglutamine tract which, when expanded (Q33) as in spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6), is toxic to cells. Moreover, polyglutamine-mediated toxicity is dependent on nuclear localization. Finally, in the absence of flanking sequence, the Q33 expansion alone does not kill cells. These results suggest a novel processing of the P/Q-type calcium channel and a potential mechanism for the pathogenesis of SCA6.

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    • "Our observation of cytoplasmic toxicity of the CTF is confounded by two previous studies showing rCTF toxicity in the nuclei [19], [20], However, as we showed here, tagging rCTF with EGFP may artificially confine the rCTF into the nuclei. It should also be noted that the components of the rCTFs are not exactly the same as the four studies [18]–[21]: the present study utilized CTF (Amino acids #1954–#2506) [18] which is exactly the same with the one Li et al. used [20], except for the differences in tag proteins. "
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    ABSTRACT: The human α1A voltage-dependent calcium channel (Cav2.1) is a pore-forming essential subunit embedded in the plasma membrane. Its cytoplasmic carboxyl(C)-tail contains a small poly-glutamine (Q) tract, whose length is normally 4∼19 Q, but when expanded up to 20∼33Q, the tract causes an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder, spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6). A recent study has shown that a 75-kDa C-terminal fragment (CTF) containing the polyQ tract remains soluble in normal brains, but becomes insoluble mainly in the cytoplasm with additional localization to the nuclei of human SCA6 Purkinje cells. However, the mechanism by which the CTF aggregation leads to neurodegeneration is completely elusive, particularly whether the CTF exerts more toxicity in the nucleus or in the cytoplasm. We tagged recombinant (r)CTF with either nuclear-localization or nuclear-export signal, created doxycyclin-inducible rat pheochromocytoma (PC12) cell lines, and found that the CTF is more toxic in the cytoplasm than in the nucleus, the observations being more obvious with Q28 (disease range) than with Q13 (normal-length). Surprisingly, the CTF aggregates co-localized both with cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB) and phosphorylated-CREB (p-CREB) in the cytoplasm, and Western blot analysis showed that the quantity of CREB and p-CREB were both decreased in the nucleus when the rCTF formed aggregates in the cytoplasm. In human brains, polyQ aggregates also co-localized with CREB in the cytoplasm of SCA6 Purkinje cells, but not in other conditions. Collectively, the cytoplasmic Cav2.1-CTF aggregates are sufficient to cause cell death, and one of the pathogenic mechanisms may be abnormal CREB trafficking in the cytoplasm and reduced CREB and p-CREB levels in the nuclei.
    PLoS ONE 03/2013; 8(3):e50121. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0050121 · 3.23 Impact Factor
    • "SCA 6 is the only polyglutamate disease caused by mutation in a membrane protein (Voltage-gated calcium channel alpha 1 a subunit).[24] The fact that small expansion has shown to produce episodic ataxia brings SCA 6 closer to channelopathies. "
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    ABSTRACT: The dominantly inherited ataxias, also known as Spino-cerebellar ataxias (SCAs), are rapidly expanding entities. New mutations are being identified at remarkable regularity. Recent awareness of molecular abnormalities in SCAs has addressed some of the long sought questions, but gaps in knowledge still exist. Three major categories of SCAs, according to molecular mechanisms, have evolved over recent few years: Polyglutamate expansion ataxia, non-coding zone repeat ataxia, and ataxia due to conventional mutation. Using the fulcrum of these mechanisms, the article provides an update of SCAs. Shared and specific clinical features, genetic abnormalities, and possible links between molecular abnormalities and cerebellar degeneration have been discussed. Emphasis has been placed on the mechanisms of polyglutamate toxicity.
    Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology 03/2013; 16(3):295-303. DOI:10.4103/0972-2327.116896 · 0.60 Impact Factor
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    • "To discover normal CTF functions, knowledge of its intracellular localization is a prerequisite. While Kordasiewicz et al. [22] previously showed that the CTF is mainly located in the neuronal nuclei by immunoblot analysis on mice cerebellar extracts and immunohistochemistry on control human cerebellum, we here showed that the CTF is highly expressed in the cytoplasm with the possibility of a very small amount present in the nuclei. Several explanations for this discrepancy with the previous finding of Kordasiewicz et al. may be considered. "
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    ABSTRACT: Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by a small polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion (control: 4-20Q; SCA6: 20-33Q) in the carboxyl(C)-terminal cytoplasmic domain of the alpha(1A) voltage-dependent calcium channel (Ca(v)2.1). Although a 75-85-kDa Ca(v)2.1 C-terminal fragment (CTF) is toxic in cultured cells, its existence in human brains and its role in SCA6 pathogenesis remains unknown. Here, we investigated whether the small polyQ expansion alters the expression pattern and intracellular distribution of Ca(v)2.1 in human SCA6 brains. New antibodies against the Ca(v)2.1 C-terminus were used in immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. In the cerebella of six control individuals, the CTF was detected in sucrose- and SDS-soluble cytosolic fractions; in the cerebella of two SCA6 patients, it was additionally detected in SDS-insoluble cytosolic and sucrose-soluble nuclear fractions. In contrast, however, the CTF was not detected either in the nuclear fraction or in the SDS-insoluble cytosolic fraction of SCA6 extracerebellar tissues, indicating that the CTF being insoluble in the cytoplasm or mislocalized to the nucleus only in the SCA6 cerebellum. Immunohistochemistry revealed abundant aggregates in cell bodies and dendrites of SCA6 Purkinje cells (seven patients) but not in controls (n = 6). Recombinant CTF with a small polyQ expansion (rCTF-Q28) aggregated in cultured PC12 cells, but neither rCTF-Q13 (normal-length polyQ) nor full-length Ca(v)2.1 with Q28 did. We conclude that SCA6 pathogenesis may be associated with the CTF, normally found in the cytoplasm, being aggregated in the cytoplasm and additionally distributed in the nucleus.
    Acta Neuropathologica 04/2010; 119(4):447-64. DOI:10.1007/s00401-009-0630-0 · 10.76 Impact Factor
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