Mouse tissue culture models of unstable triplet repeats.
ABSTRACT Once into the expanded disease-associated range, trinucleotide repeat alleles become dramatically unstable in the germline and in somatic cells. The molecular mechanism(s) that underlie this unique form of dynamic mutation are poorly understood. Numerous transgenic mouse models of unstable trinucleotide repeats, which reconstitute the dynamic nature of somatic mosaicism observed in humans, have been generated. Given their easy accessibility, tissues from these mice can be collected to establish homogenous cell culture models of trinucleotide repeat dynamics. This chapter describes how such cultures can be established and maintained. Such in vitro systems may be useful to study relevant biological questions concerning fundamental triplet repeat metabolism. In particular, monitoring of repeat stability in cells growing under controlled conditions could help to clarify the relationship among the accumulation of repeat length variation, cell division rates, and DNA replication.
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ABSTRACT: Although cataract is a characteristic feature of myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1), little is known of the underlying mechanisms. We generated four lens epithelial cell lines derived from DM1 cataracts and two from age-matched, non-DM cataracts. Small-pool PCR revealed typical large triplet repeat expansions in the DM1 cells. Furthermore, real-time PCR analysis showed reduced SIX5 expression and increased expression of the Ca(2+)-activated K(+) channel SK3 in the DM1 cells. These cells also exhibited longer population doubling times which did not arise through reduced proliferation, but rather increased cell death as shown by increased release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). Using (86)Rb(+) as a tracer for K(+), we found no difference in the resting K(+) influx or efflux kinetics. In all cases, the ouabain sensitive component of the influx contributed approximately 50% of the total. However, stimulating internal Ca(2+) by exposure to ionomycin not only caused greater stimulation of K(+) ((86)Rb) efflux in the DM1 cells but also induced a higher rate of cell death (LDH assay). Since both the hyper-stimulation of K(+) efflux and cell death were reduced by the highly specific SK inhibitor apamin, we suggest that increased expression of SK3 has a critical role in the increased Ca(2+)-induced fragility in DM1 cells. The present data, therefore, both help explain the lower epithelial cell density previously observed in DM1 cataracts and provide general insights into mechanisms underlying the fragility of other DM1-affected tissues.Human Molecular Genetics 01/2007; 15(24):3559-68. · 7.69 Impact Factor