Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

Special article by the winner of Japanese Society of Neurology

Molecular and genetic analysis of spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10)

Tohru Matsuura, M.D.

Division of Neurogenetics and Bioinformatics, Center for Neurological Diseases and Cancer, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine

Spinocerebellar ataxia type 10 (SCA10) is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by expansion of the ATTCT pentanucleotide repeat in intron 9 of a novel gene, ATXN10, on chromosome 22q13.3. It is clinically characterized by progressive ataxia, seizures, and anticipation, which can vary within and between families. The length of the expanded ATTCT repeats is highly unstable on paternal transmission and shows a variable degree of somatic and germline instabilty, revealing complex SCA10 genetic mechanisms. Moreover, the purity of the expanded repeat element may be a disease modifier. ATTCT repeats have been recently shown to form unpaired DNA structure and may serve as an aberrant DNA replication origin, potentially contributing to repeat instability and cell death. How this untranslated ATTCT expansion leads to neurodegeneration has been still controversial. We discuss several possible pathogenic mechanisms for SCA10, and growing number of evidence indicates a gain-of-function RNA mechanism, similar to the myotonic dystrophies caused by non-coding CTG or CCTG repeat expansions.
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(CLINICA NEUROL, 48: 1|10, 2008)
key words: ATTCT repeat, instabilty, non-coding repeat expansion disorders, spinocerebellar ataxia type 10

(Received: 26-Jan-07)