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Title: The GAA triplet-repeat is unstable in the context of the human FXN locus and displays age-dependent expansions in cerebellum and DRG in a transgenic mouse model
Authors: Pook, MA
Clark, RM
De Biase, I
Al-Mahdawi, S
Malykhina, AP
Bidichandani, S
Keywords: Friedreich ataxia;GAA repeat;FXN;Transgenic
Issue Date: 2006
Publisher: Springer
Citation: Human Genetics 120(5): 633-640, Sep 2006
Abstract: Friedreich ataxia (FRDA) is caused by homozygosity for FXN alleles containing an expanded GAA triplet-repeat (GAA-TR) sequence. This expanded GAA-TR sequence is unstable in somatic cells of FRDA patients, showing age-dependent expansions in dorsal root ganglia (DRG), the tissue where pathology occurs earliest and is most significant. This is thought to be the basis for the progressive, tissue-specific pathology seen in FRDA, but the mechanism(s) for this somatic instability is unknown. We show that transgenic mice containing the expanded GAA-TR sequence (190 or 82 triplets) in the context of the human FXN locus show tissue-specific and age-dependent somatic instability that mimics the human condition. Small pool PCR analysis, which allows quantitative analysis of instability by assaying individual transgenes in vivo, showed age-dependent expansions specifically in the cerebellum and DRG. The (GAA)190 allele showed some instability by 2 months, progressed at about 0.3 – 0.4 triplets/week, resulting in a significant number of expansions by 12 months. Repeat length determined the age of onset of somatic instability, and the rate and magnitude of expansion. Whereas the GAA-TR was unstable in the context of the human FXN locus, pure GAATR sequences at other genetic loci in the human and murine genomes showed no instability. These data indicate that somatic instability of the GAA-TR sequence in the human FXN gene is determined by a combination of unique cis and trans-acting factors. This mouse model will serve as a useful tool to delineate the mechanism(s) of diseasespecific somatic instability in FRDA.
ISSN: 0340-6717
Appears in Collections:Biological Sciences
Community Health and Public Health
Dept of Life Sciences Research Papers

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