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Altered gene expression and DNA damage in peripheral blood cells from Friedreich's ataxia patients: Cellular model of pathology

Haugen, AC and Di Prospero, NA and Parker, JS and Fannin, RD and Chou, J and Meyer, JN and Halweg, C and Collins, JB and Durr, A and Fischbeck, K and Van Houten, B (2010) Altered gene expression and DNA damage in peripheral blood cells from Friedreich's ataxia patients: Cellular model of pathology. PLoS Genetics, 6 (1). ISSN 1553-7390

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The neurodegenerative disease Friedreich's ataxia (FRDA) is the most common autosomal-recessively inherited ataxia and is caused by a GAA triplet repeat expansion in the first intron of the frataxin gene. In this disease, transcription of frataxin, a mitochondrial protein involved in iron homeostasis, is impaired, resulting in a significant reduction in mRNA and protein levels. Global gene expression analysis was performed in peripheral blood samples from FRDA patients as compared to controls, which suggested altered expression patterns pertaining to genotoxic stress. We then confirmed the presence of genotoxic DNA damage by using a gene-specific quantitative PCR assay and discovered an increase in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA damage in the blood of these patients (p<0.0001, respectively). Additionally, frataxin mRNA levels correlated with age of onset of disease and displayed unique sets of gene alterations involved in immune response, oxidative phosphorylation, and protein synthesis. Many of the key pathways observed by transcription profiling were downregulated, and we believe these data suggest that patients with prolonged frataxin deficiency undergo a systemic survival response to chronic genotoxic stress and consequent DNA damage detectable in blood. In conclusion, our results yield insight into the nature and progression of FRDA, as well as possible therapeutic approaches. Furthermore, the identification of potential biomarkers, including the DNA damage found in peripheral blood, may have predictive value in future clinical trials.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Haugen, AC
Di Prospero, NA
Parker, JS
Fannin, RD
Chou, J
Meyer, JN
Halweg, C
Collins, JB
Durr, A
Fischbeck, K
Van Houten, Bbev15@pitt.eduBEV15
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Centers: Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Hillman Cancer Center
Other Centers, Institutes, Offices, or Units > Pittsburgh Cancer Institute
Date: 1 January 2010
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: PLoS Genetics
Volume: 6
Number: 1
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000812
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1553-7390
MeSH Headings: Adolescent; Adult; Cells, Cultured; Child; Cohort Studies; DNA Damage; Female; Friedreich Ataxia--genetics; Friedreich Ataxia--pathology; Gene Expression; Humans; Iron-Binding Proteins--genetics; Male; Middle Aged; RNA--blood; RNA--genetics; Young Adult
Other ID: NLM PMC2799513
PubMed Central ID: PMC2799513
PubMed ID: 20090835
Date Deposited: 31 Jul 2012 20:50
Last Modified: 02 Feb 2019 16:58


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