Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is an autosomal-dominant neurodegenerative disorder characterized by ataxia and progressive motor deterioration. SCA1 has been known to associate with elongated polyglutamine tract in ataxin-1, the SCA1 gene product. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have found that USP7, a ubiquitin-specific protease, binds to ataxin-1. Further experiments with deletion mutants indicated that the C-terminal region of ataxin-1 was essential for the interaction. Liquid β-galactosidase assay and coimmunoprecipitation experiments revealed that the strength of the interaction between USP7 and ataxin-1 is influenced by the length of the polyglutamine tract in the ataxin-1; weaker interaction was observed in mutant ataxin-1 with longer polyglutamine tract and USP7 was not recruited to the mutant ataxin-1 aggregates in the Purkinje cells of SCA1 transgenic mice. Our results suggest that altered function of the ubiquitin system can be involved in the pathogenesis of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
- Cell Biology