[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Polyalanine expansion mutations have been identified in eight transcription factors that are associated with a range of congenital disorders. While some of these mutant proteins have been shown to generate cellular aggregates in heterologous cell lines, little is known about the mechanism by which these aggregates cause disease. Here we examine the aggregation and functional properties of the two known polyalanine expansion mutations associated with X-linked Hypopituitarism (XH), SOX3(22Ala) and SOX3(26Ala), which contain an additional seven and eleven alanine residues, respectively. SOX3(22Ala) and SOX3(26Ala) proteins form cytoplasmic aggregates and nuclear inclusions in transiently transfected COS-7 and CHO K1 cells, and in transfected explant cultures of chick neural epithelium. SOX3(26Ala) exhibits a more potent aggregation phenotype, resulting in significantly more cells with dispersed cytoplasmic and large perinuclear aggregates. SOX3(22Ala) and SOX3(26Ala) protein aggregates exhibit the key properties of aggresomes including vimentin redistribution, colocalisation with the Microtubule Organising Centre and sensitivity to microtubule disruption. This is the first time that aggresomes have been implicated in the aetiology of a polyalanine expansion disorder, suggesting that XH and protein conformation disorders may become manifest through similar pathological mechanisms. Further, we show that mutant SOX3 proteins have impaired transcriptional activity and reduced capacity to inhibit beta-catenin/TCF-mediated transcription. These data suggest that deregulation of SOX3 target genes and inappropriate canonical Wnt signaling in central nervous system (CNS) progenitors may also contribute to dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis in XH patients.
Frontiers in Bioscience 02/2007; 12:2085-95. · 3.29 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Duplications of Xq26-27 have been implicated in the etiology of X-linked hypopituitarism associated with mental retardation (MR). Additionally, an expansion of a polyalanine tract (by 11 alanines) within the transcription factor SOX3 (Xq27.1) has been reported in patients with growth hormone deficiency and variable learning difficulties. We report a submicroscopic duplication of Xq27.1, the smallest reported to date (685.6 kb), in two siblings with variable hypopituitarism, callosal abnormalities, anterior pituitary hypoplasia (APH), an ectopic posterior pituitary (EPP), and an absent infundibulum. This duplication contains SOX3 and sequences corresponding to two transcripts of unknown function; only Sox3 is expressed in the infundibulum in mice. Next, we identified a novel seven-alanine expansion within a polyalanine tract in SOX3 in a family with panhypopituitarism in three male siblings with an absent infundibulum, severe APH, and EPP. This mutation led to reduced transcriptional activity, with impaired nuclear localization of the mutant protein. We also identified a novel polymorphism (A43T) in SOX3 in another child with hypopituitarism. In contrast to findings in previous studies, there was no evidence of MR or learning difficulties in our patients. We conclude that both over- and underdosage of SOX3 are associated with similar phenotypes, consisting of infundibular hypoplasia and hypopituitarism but not necessarily MR.
The American Journal of Human Genetics 06/2005; 76(5):833-49. · 11.20 Impact Factor