Hsp70 chaperones and type I PRMTs are sequestered at intranuclear inclusions caused by polyalanine expansions in PABPN1
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AuthorTavanez, João Paulo; Bengoechea, Rocío; Berciano Blanco, María Teresa; Lafarga Coscojuelo, Miguel Ángel; Carmo-Fonseca, Maria; Enguita, Franciso J.
Genomic instability at loci with tandem arrays of simple repeats is the cause for many neurological, neurodegenerative and neuromuscular diseases. When located in coding regions, disease-associated expansions of trinucleotide repeats are translated into homopolymeric amino acid stretches of glutamine or alanine. Polyalanine expansions in the poly(A)-binding protein nuclear 1 (PABPN1) gene causes oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD). To gain novel insight into the molecular pathophysiology of OPMD, we studied the interaction of cellular proteins with normal and expanded PABPN1. Pull-down assays show that heat shock proteins including Hsp70, and type I arginine methyl transferases (PRMT1 and PRMT3) associate preferentially with expanded PABPN1. Immunofluorescence microscopy further reveals accumulation of these proteins at intranuclear inclusions in muscle from OPMD patients. Recombinant PABPN1 with expanded polyalanine stretches binds Hsp70 with higher affinity, and data from molecular simulations suggest that expansions of the PABPN1 polyalanine tract result in transition from a disordered, flexible conformation to a stable helical secondary structure. Taken together, our results suggest that the pathological mutation in the PABPN1 gene alters the protein conformation and induces a preferential interaction with type I PRMTs and Hsp70 chaperones. This in turn causes sequestration in intranuclear inclusions, possibly leading to a progressive cellular defect in arginine methylation and chaperone activity.
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