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.
The Japanese Biochemical Society