PLP1 gene duplication causes overexpression and alteration of the PLP/DM20 splicing balance in fibroblasts from Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease patients

Stefano Regis, Serena Grossi, Fabio Corsolini, Roberta Biancheri, Mirella Filocamo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The PLP1 gene encodes two protein isoforms (PLP and DM20) which represent the predominant protein portion in myelin of the central nervous system. The two products are generated from the same primary transcript by alternative splicing. Defects of the PLP1 gene cause Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease (PMD) or X-linked spastic paraplegia type 2 (SPG2). Duplication of the PLP1 gene is the most frequent gene defect, usually responsible for the classic form of PMD. To investigate the effects of PLP1 gene over dosage on gene expression, we analysed the PLP/DM20 expression profile in fibroblasts from three PMD patients with a PLP1 gene duplication. Gene expression was evaluated by real-time PCR using two different PLP1 amplicons and two different reference genes (GAPDH and GUSB). Fibroblasts from the three patients showed a 4-5 fold increase of PLP1 gene expression compared to fibroblasts from three normal controls. The contribution of the two alternatively spliced transcript isoforms (PLP and DM20) to the whole PLP1 gene expression was investigated using a DM20-specific amplicon. The three patients showed a decrease of the DM20/(DM20+PLP) ratio in comparison to the three normal controls, suggesting a prominent contribution of the PLP transcript to the PLP1 gene overexpression detected in the patients. Therefore, PLP1 gene duplication seems to result both in overexpression and in a shift of the PLP/DM20 splicing balance in direction of the PLP isoform.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)548-554
Number of pages7
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Volume1792
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009

Keywords

  • Alternative splicing
  • Fibroblast
  • Gene duplication
  • Gene expression
  • PLP1
  • PMD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine

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