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      Overexpression of MBNL1 fetal isoforms and modified splicing of Tau in the DM1 brain: two individual consequences of CUG trinucleotide repeats.

      Experimental Neurology

      tau Proteins, Adult, methods, Transfection, metabolism, RNA-Binding Proteins, genetics, Protein Isoforms, pathology, Myotonic Dystrophy, Middle Aged, Humans, HeLa Cells, Green Fluorescent Proteins, Gene Expression Regulation, Fetus, Cloning, Molecular, Cercopithecus aethiops, COS Cells, Brain, Animals, Alternative Splicing, Trinucleotide Repeats

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          Abstract

          Neurofibrillary degeneration is often observed in the brain of patients with type 1 myotonic dystrophy (DM1). It consists principally of the aggregation of Tau isoforms that lack exon 2/3 encoded sequences, and is the consequence of the modified splicing of Tau pre-mRNA. In experimental models of DM1, the splicing of several transcripts is modified due to the loss of Muscleblind-like 1 (MBNL1) function. In the present study, we demonstrate that the MBNL1 protein is also present in the human brain, and consists of several isoforms, as shown by RT-PCR and sequencing. In comparison with controls, we show that the adult DM1 brain exhibits modifications in the splicing of MBNL1, with the preferential expression of long MBNL1 isoforms--a splicing pattern similar to that seen in the fetal human brain. In cultured HeLa cells, the presence of long CUG repeats, such as those found in the DM1 mutation, leads to similar changes in the splicing pattern of MBNL1, and the localization of MBNL1 in nuclear RNA foci. Long CUG repeats also reproduce the repression of Tau exon 2/3 inclusion, as in the human disease, suggesting that their effect on MBNL1 expression may lead to changes in Tau splicing. However, while an overall reduction in the expression of MBNL1 mimics the effect of the DM1 mutation, none of the MBNL1 isoforms tested so far modulates the endogenous splicing of Tau. The modified splicing of Tau thus results from a possibly CUG-mediated loss of function of MBNL1, but not from changes in the MBNL1 expression pattern.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          18177861
          10.1016/j.expneurol.2007.11.020

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