Deficit of heat shock transcription factor 1-heat shock 70 kDa protein 1A axis determines the cell death vulnerability in a model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 6

Authors


  • Communicated by: Shuh Narumiya

* t-tanabe.mphm@tmd.ac.jp

Abstract

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 6 (SCA6) is caused by a small expansion of polyglutamine (polyQ)-encoding CAG repeat in Cav2.1 calcium channel gene. To gain insights into pathogenic mechanism of SCA6, we used HEK293 cells expressing fusion protein of enhanced green fluorescent protein and Cav2.1 carboxyl terminal fragment (EGFP-Cav2.1CT) [L24 and S13 cells containing 24 polyQ (disease range) and 13 polyQ (normal range), respectively] and examined their responses to some stressors. When exposed to CdCl2, L24 cells showed lower viability than the control S13 cells and caspase-dependent apoptosis was enhanced more in L24 cells. Localization of EGFP-Cav2.1CT was almost confined to the nucleus, where it existed as speckle-like structures. Interestingly, CdCl2 treatment resulted in disruption of more promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies (PML-NBs) in L24 cells than in S13 cells and in cells where PML-NBs were disrupted, aggregates of EGFP-Cav2.1CT became larger. Furthermore, a large number of aggregates were formed in L24 cells than in S13 cells. Results of RNAi experiments indicated that HSPA1A determined the difference against CdCl2 toxicity. Furthermore, protein expression of heat shock transcription factor 1 (HSF1), which activates HSPA1A expression, was down-regulated in L24 cells. Therefore, HSF1-HSPA1A axis is critical for the vulnerability in L24 cells.

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