Overexpression of DNAse I in brain of patients with Down Syndrome
Human DNAse I (EC 188.8.131.52) is an enzyme most probably involved in apoptotic processes. Splicing of the DNAse I primary transcript in normal and apoptotic cells into up to 20 splicing forms and the recent description of a different family of caspase-activated DNAses, hampered studies on the role of DNAse I in apoptosis research.
Performing gene hunting in fetal brain of patients with DS we found a sequence with 100% homology to DNAse I and this formed the Rationale for studies in adult DS brain. It was therefore the aim of the study to evaluate DNAse I — mRNA steady state levels in DS brain using adult brain without brain pathologies and Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) brain as control, in order to rule out that DNAse I — overexpression may not be specific for DS but rather reflecting apoptosis per se, a hallmark of both disorders.
Determination of DNAse I — mRNA steady state levels was carried out by a blotting method in frontal, parietal, temporal occipital lobe and cerebellum.
We found significantly increased DNAse I transcripts in brain of DS and AD both, when normalized versus the house-keeping gene beta actin or total RNA.
We demonstrate the significant increase of DNAse I — transcript in the pathogenesis of DS and AD suggesting a role for this enzyme in the apoptotic process known to occur in both disorders. We are now going to carry out protein and enzyme activity levels in our laboratory to confirm our findings at the transcriptional level.
KeywordsDown Syndrome Occipital Lobe mRNA Steady State Level Slot Blot Down Syndrome Brain
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