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PloS one

Ubiquilin 2 is not associated with tau pathology.


PMID 24086754

Abstract

Accumulation of aberrant proteins in inclusion bodies is a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases. Impairment of proteolytic systems is a common event in these protein misfolding diseases. Recently, mutations in the UBQLN 2 gene encoding ubiquilin 2 have been identified in X-linked amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Furthermore, ubiquilin 2 is associated with inclusions in familial and sporadic ALS/dementia, synucleinopathies and polyglutamine diseases. Ubiquilin 2 exerts a regulatory role in proteostasis and thus it has been suggested that ubiquilin 2 pathology may be a common event in neurodegenerative diseases. Tauopathies, a heterogenous group of neurodegenerative diseases accompanied with dementia, are characterized by inclusions of the microtubule-binding protein tau. In the present study, we investigate whether ubiquilin 2 is connected with tau pathology in Alzheimer's disease (AD), supranuclear palsy (PSP) and Pick's disease (PiD) and familial cases with frontotemporal dementia and parkinsonism linked to chromosome 17 (FTDP-17). We show that ubiquilin 2 positive inclusions are absent in these tauopathies. Furthermore, we find decreased ubiquilin 2 protein levels in AD patients, but our results do not indicate a correlation with tau pathology. Our data show no evidence for involvement of ubiquilin 2 and indicate that other mechanisms underly the proteostatic disturbances in tauopathies.