SCA8 mRNA expression suggests an antisense regulation of KLHL1 and correlates to SCA8 pathology

Wei Lun Chen, Jun Wei Lin, Hei Jen Huang, Su Min Wang, Ming Tsan Su, Guey Jen Lee-Chen, Chiung Mei Chen*, Hsiu Mei Hsieh-Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


An increasing number of inherited neurodegenerative diseases are known to be caused by the expansion of unstable trinucleotide repeat tracts. Spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8) has been identified as being partly caused by a CTG expansion in an untranslated, endogenous antisense RNA that overlaps the Kelch-like 1 (KLHL1) gene. Clinically, SCA8 patients show similar features to those with the other SCAs, including limb and truncal ataxia, ataxic dysarthria and horizontal nystagmus, all of which are signs of dysfunction of the cerebellar system. However, allele sizes within the SCA8 proposed pathogenic range have been reported in patients with ataxia of unknown etiology, in individuals from pedigrees with other SCA or Friedreich's ataxia, and in patients with Alzheimer's disease, schizophrenia or parkinsonism. These observations suggest that mutation of the SCA8 locus might affect neurons other than the cerebellum. Antisense transcripts are known to regulate complementary sense transcripts and are involved in several biologic functions, such as development, adaptive response, and viral infection. In order to test whether SCA8 affects the KLHL1 expression by antisense RNA in brain cells, we examined the expression pattern of KLHL1 and SCA8 in human tissues and in mouse brain regions. SCA8 expression was colocalized with KLHL1 transcript in many brain regions whose functions are correlated to the clinical symptoms of SCA8 patients. These findings lead to the hypothesis of a possible relevance that SCA8 transcript downregulates KLHL1 expression through an antisense mechanism, which then leads to SCA8 neuropathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)176-184
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Research
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Oct 3


  • Antisense
  • In situ hybridization
  • KLHL1
  • SCA8
  • Spinocerebellar ataxias

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


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