Expansion of a CUG trinucleotide repeat in the 3′ untranslated region of myotonic dystrophy protein kinase transcripts results in nuclear retention of transcripts

Brigid M. Davis, Mila E. Mccurrach, Krishan L. Taneja, Robert H. Singer, David E. Housman

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Abstract

Expansion of a CTG trinucleotide repeat in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of DMPK, the gene encoding myotonic dystrophy protein kinase, induces the dominantly inherited neuromuscular disorder myotonic dystrophy (DM). Transcripts containing the expanded trinucleotide are abundant in differentiated cultured myoblasts, and they are spliced and polyadenylylated normally. However, mutant transcripts never reach the cytoplasm in these nonmitotic cells; instead, they form stable clusters that are tightly linked to the nuclear matrix, which can prevent effective biochemical purification of these transcripts. In DM patients, reduced DMPK protein levels, consequent to nuclear retention of mutant transcripts, are probably a cause of disease development. Formation of nuclear foci is a novel mechanism for preventing transcript export and effecting a loss of gene function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7388-7393
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume94
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 8 1997

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