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Neuropathology of RAN translation proteins in fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome.


ABSTRACT: CGG repeat expansions in FMR1 cause the neurodegenerative disorder Fragile X-associated Tremor/Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS). Ubiquitinated neuronal intranuclear inclusions (NIIs) are the neuropathological hallmark of FXTAS. Both sense strand derived CGG repeats and antisense strand derived CCG repeats support non-AUG initiated (RAN) translation of homopolymeric proteins in potentially 6 different reading frames. However, the relative abundance of these proteins in FXTAS brains and their co-localization with each other and NIIs is lacking. Here we describe rater-blinded assessment of immunohistochemical and immunofluorescence staining with newly generated antibodies to different CGG RAN translation products in FXTAS and control brains as well as co-staining with ubiquitin, p62/SQSTM1, and ubiquilin 2. We find that both FMRpolyG and a second CGG repeat derived RAN translation product, FMRpolyA, accumulate in aggregates in FXTAS brains. FMRpolyG is a near-obligate component of both ubiquitin-positive and p62-positive NIIs in FXTAS, with occurrence of aggregates in 20% of all hippocampal neurons and?>?90% of all inclusions. A subset of these inclusions also stain positive for the ALS/FTD associated protein ubiquilin 2. Ubiquitinated inclusions and FMRpolyG+ aggregates are rarer in cortex and cerebellum. Intriguingly, FMRpolyG staining is also visible in control neuronal nuclei. In contrast to FMRpolyG, staining for FMRpolyA and CCG antisense derived RAN translation products were less abundant and less frequent components of ubiquitinated inclusions. In conclusion, RAN translated FMRpolyG is a common component of ubiquitin and p62 positive inclusions in FXTAS patient brains.

SUBMITTER: Krans A 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC6821001 | BioStudies | 2019-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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