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The Journal of Biochemistry
Vol. 130 (2001) No. 5 P 581-587


Myotonic dystrophy (DM) is the most common form of adult onset muscular dystrophy. Patients have a large CTG repeat expansion in the 3' untranslated region of the DMPK gene, which encodes DM protein kinase. RNA trans-dominant models, which hypothe-size that the expanded CUG trinucleotide repeat on DMPK mRNA sequesters a factor or disrupts the RNA metabolism of the DMPK mRNA itself and other mRNAs in a trans dominant manner, have been proposed. A candidate for the sequestered factor, termed CUG-binding protein (CUG-BP), exists in several alternatively spliced isoforms. We found a human isoform with a twelve base insertion (deduced amino acids Leu-Tyr-Leu-Gln) and an isoform with a three base insertion (deduced amino acid Ala) insertion. In order to elucidate the effects of CUG-BP on DMPK expression, we introduced CUG-BP and DMPK cDNA transiently into COS-7 cells. Cotransfection of CUG-BP did not signifi-cantly affect the expression of either wild type or mutant DMPK at the mRNA level. On the other hand, cotransfection of CUG-BP significantly affected the expression of both the wild type and mutant DMPKs at the protein level. This reduction was remarkable when the mutant DMPK construct was used.

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