Spinocerebellar ataxia type 14 (SCA14) is an autosomal dominant SCA caused by variants of the PRKCG encoding protein kinase C gamma (PKCγ). Although the toxic gain-of-function mechanism is the main cause of SCA14, its molecular pathophysiology remains unclear. To elucidate the molecular pathogenesis of SCA14, we analyzed two families with the variants in PRKCG. Clinical symptoms and neurological findings of two Japanese families were evaluated by neurologists. Exome sequencing was performed using the BGI platform. GFP-tagged PRKCGs harboring the identified variants were transfected into the HeLa cells, and aggregation of PKCγ was analyzed using confocal laser microscopy. Solubility of PKCγ was evaluated by assessing the proportion of insoluble fraction present in1% Triton-X. Patients in family 1 presented with only cerebellar atrophy without ataxia; however, patients in family 2 exhibited cerebellar ataxia, dystonia, and more severe cerebellar atrophy than those in family 1. Exome sequencing identified two novel missense variants of PRKCG:c.171 G > C,p.W57C (family 1), and c.400 T > C,p.C134R (family 2). Both the mutant PKCγ aggregated in the cytoplasm. Although the solubility of PKCγ of the C134R variant was lower than that of the wild-type, PKCγ of W57C retained its solubility. In conclusion, we identified two novel variants of PRKCG. The difference in severity between the two families may be due to the difference in solubility changes observed between the two variants. Decreased solubility of the PKCγ may play an important role in the pathogenesis of SCA14.
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We thank Ms. Eiko Nakajima and Dr. Mayumi Miyamoto for their excellent technical assistance. This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI under the grant numbers JP21K15698, the Uehara Memorial Foundation, and the Research Committee for Ataxic Disease. We would like to thank Editage (www.editage.com) for English language editing.
The authors declare no competing interests.
Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
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Tada, Y., Kume, K., Noguchi, S. et al. Comparison of two families with and without ataxia harboring novel variants in PRKCG. J Hum Genet 67, 595–599 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s10038-022-01057-6