5 years ago

Bicistronic CACNA1A Gene Expression in Neurons Derived from Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 6 Patient Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

Boesch, Nat, Dechant, Obermair, Eigentler, Stanika, Bavassano
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a CAG trinucleotide repeat expansion in the CACNA1A gene. As one of the few bicistronic genes discovered in the human genome, CACNA1A encodes not only the α1A subunit of the P/Q type voltage-gated Ca2+ channel CaV2.1, but also the α1ACT protein, a 75 kDa transcription factor sharing the sequence of the cytoplasmic C-terminal tail of the α1A subunit. Isoforms of both proteins contain the polyglutamine (polyQ) domain that is expanded in SCA6 patients. While certain SCA6 phenotypes appear to be specific for Purkinje neurons, other pathogenic effects of the SCA6 polyQ mutation can affect a broad spectrum of CNS neuronal subtypes. We investigated the expression and function of CACNA1A gene products in human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells from two SCA6 patients. Expression levels of CACNA1A encoding α1A subunit were similar between SCA6 and control neurons and no differences were found in the subcellular distribution of CaV2.1 channel protein. The α1ACT immunoreactivity was detected in the majority of cell nuclei of SCA6 and control neurons. While no SCA6 genotype-dependent differences in CaV2.1 channel function were observed, they were found in the expression levels of the α1ACT target gene Granulin (GRN) and in glutamate-induced cell vulnerability.

Publisher URL: http://doi.org/10.1089/scd.2017.0085

DOI: 10.1089/scd.2017.0085

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