Neuronal protein aggregates are considered as pathological hallmarks of various human neurodegenerative diseases, including the so-called CAG-repeat disorders, such as spinocerebellar ataxia Type 6 (SCA6). Since the immunocytochemical findings of an initial post-mortem study using a specific antibody against the disease protein of SCA6 (i.e. pathologically altered alpha-(1A) subunit of the P/Q type voltage-dependent calcium channel, CACNA1A) have not been confirmed so far, the occurrence and central nervous system distribution of neuronal protein aggregates in SCA6 is still a matter of debate. Owing to the fact that the antibody against the pathologically altered CACNA1A is not commercially available, we decided to apply a recently generated p62 antibody on brain tissue from two clinically diagnosed and genetically confirmed SCA6 patients Application of this p62 antibody revealed numerous cytoplasmic neuronal inclusions in the degenerated cerebellar dentate nucleus and inferior olive of both SCA6 patients studied, whereby a subset of these aggregates were also ubiquitin-immunopositive. In view of the known role of p62 in protein degradation as well as aggresome/sequestosome formation, the p62 aggregate formation observed in the present study suggests that SCA6 not only is associated with an impairment of the calcium channel function and an elongated polyglutamine stretch in CACNA1A, but also with a defective protein handling by the protein quality control system.
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||5|
|Status||Published - 2009|