p62/SQSTM1 differentially removes the toxic mutant androgen receptor via autophagy and inclusion formation in a spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy mouse model.

Department of Neurology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Showa-ku, Nagoya 466-8550, Japan.
Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are inherited neurodegenerative disorders that are caused by the expansion of trinucleotide CAG repeats in the causative genes. Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) is an inherited motor neuron disease that is caused by the expansion of a polyQ tract within the androgen receptor (AR). p62 is a ubiquitin- and light-chain 3-binding protein that is known to regulate the degradation of targeted proteins via autophagy and inclusion formation. In this study, we examined the effects of p62 depletion and overexpression on cultured cells and in a transgenic mouse model that overexpressed the mutant AR. Here, we demonstrate that depletion of p62 significantly exacerbated motor phenotypes and the neuropathological outcome, whereas overexpression of p62 protected against mutant AR toxicity in SBMA mice. Depletion of p62 significantly increased the levels of monomeric mutant AR and mutant AR protein complexes in an SBMA mouse model via the impairment of autophagic degradation. In addition, p62 overexpression improved SBMA mouse phenotypes by inducing cytoprotective inclusion formation. Our results demonstrate that p62 provides two different therapeutic targets in SBMA pathogenesis: (1) autophagy-dependent degradation and (2) benevolent inclusion formation of the mutant AR.
J. Neurosci. May. 01, 2013; 33(18);7710-27 [PUBMED:23637164]
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