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Many neurodegenerative diseases are caused by intracellular, aggregate-prone proteins, including polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin in Huntington's disease (HD) and mutant tau in fronto-temporal dementia/tauopathy. Previously, we showed that rapamycin, an autophagy inducer, enhances mutant huntingtin fragment clearance and attenuated toxicity. Here we show(More)
Alpha-synuclein (SNCA) is a major risk gene for Parkinson's disease (PD), and increased SNCA gene dosage results in a parkinsonian syndrome in affected families. We found that methylation of human SNCA intron 1 decreased gene expression, while inhibition of DNA methylation activated SNCA expression. Methylation of SNCA intron 1 was reduced in DNA from(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a late manifesting neurodegenerative disorder in humans caused by an expansion of a CAG trinucleotide repeat of more than 39 units in a gene of unknown function. Several mouse models have been reported which show rapid progression of a phenotype leading to death within 3-5 months (transgenic models) resembling the rare juvenile(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 is a neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of a polyglutamine domain in the protein ataxin-3 (ATXN3). Physiological functions of ATXN3 presumably include ubiquitin protease and transcriptional corepressor activity. To gain insight into the function of ATXN3 and to test the hypothesis that loss of ATXN3 contributes to(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) is caused by the expansion of a CAG repeat tract that affects the MJD1 gene which encodes the ataxin-3 protein. In order to analyze whether symptoms caused by ataxin-3 with an expanded repeat are reversible in vivo, we generated a conditional mouse model of SCA3 using the Tet-Off system. We used a full-length human(More)
Alpha-synuclein (alpha-syn) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of many neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease. These disorders are characterized by various neurological and psychiatric symptoms based on progressive neuropathological alterations. Whether the neurodegenerative process might be halted or even reversed is presently(More)
BACKGROUND Increasing gene dosages of α-synuclein induce familial Parkinson's disease (PD); thus, the hypothesis has been put forward that regulation of gene expression, in particular altered α-synuclein gene methylation, might be associated with sporadic PD and could be used as a biological marker. METHODS We performed a thorough analysis of α-synuclein(More)
The nuclear presence of the expanded disease proteins is of critical importance for the pathogeneses of polyglutamine diseases. Here we show that protein casein kinase 2 (CK2)-dependent phosphorylation controls the nuclear localization, aggregation and stability of ataxin-3 (ATXN3), the disease protein in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Serine 340 and(More)
Epigenetic processes control the embryonic development into multicellular organisms and determine the functional differences of genetically identical cells and individuals. They are also involved in a variety of complex functions such as learning and memory consolidation and have been implicated in aging processes. Beyond the actual genetic information(More)
Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3), or Machado-Joseph disease (MJD), is caused by the expansion of a polyglutamine repeat in the ataxin-3 protein. We generated a mouse model of SCA3 expressing ataxin-3 with 148 CAG repeats under the control of the huntingtin promoter, resulting in ubiquitous expression throughout the whole brain. The model resembles many(More)