Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1; OMIM: #164400) is an autosomal dominant cerebellar ataxia caused by an expansion of CAG repeat, which encodes polyglutamine, in the ataxin-1 (ATXN1) gene. Length of polyglutamine in the ATXN1 protein is the critical determinant of pathogenesis of this disease. Molecular diagnosis of SCA1 is usually undertaken by assessing the length of CAG repeat configuration using primers spanning this configuration. However, this conventional method may potentially lead to misdiagnosis in assessing polyglutamine-encoding CAG repeat length, since CAT interruptions may be present within the CAG repeat configuration, not only in normal controls but also in neurologically symptomatic subjects. We developed a new method for assessing actual CAG repeat numbers not interrupted by CAT sequences. Polymerase chain reaction using a primer pair labeled with two different fluorescences followed by restriction enzyme digestion with SfaNI which recognizes the sequence "GCATC(N)5", lengths of actual CAG repeats that encode polyglutamine were directly detected. We named this method "dual fluorescence labeled PCR-restriction fragment length analysis". We found that numbers of actual CAG repeat encoding polyglutamine do not overlap between our cohorts of normal chromosomes (n = 385) and SCA1 chromosomes (n = 5). We conclude that the present method is a useful way for molecular diagnosis of SCA1.
- Molecular diagnosis
- Mutation detection
- Polyglutamine disease
- RFLP (restriction fragment length polymorphism)
ASJC Scopus subject areas