Saitohin, Which Is Nested Within the Tau Gene, Interacts With Tau and Abl and its Human-Specific Allele Influences Abl Phosphorylation
Saitohin (STH) is a gene unique to humans and their closest relatives whose function is not yet known. STH contains a single polymorphism (Q7R); the Q allele is human-specific and confers susceptibility to several neurodegenerative diseases. In previous work, we discovered that STH interacts with Peroxiredoxin 6 (Prdx6), a unique member of that family which is bifunctional and whose levels increase in Pick's disease. In this study, we report that STH also interacts with tau and the non-receptor tyrosine kinase c-Abl (Abl). Furthermore, Abl phosphorylates STH on its single tyrosine residue and STH increases tyrosine phosphorylation by Abl. The effect of Saitohin on Abl-mediated phosphorylation appears to be allele-specific, providing evidence for a new cellular function for STH.