Caytaxin deficiency causes generalized dystonia in rats


The genetically dystonic rat (SD-dt:JFL) is an autosomal recessive model of generalized dystonia. Without cerebellectomy, the dt rat dies prior to Postnatal Day 40. The dt locus was mapped to a 4.2 Mb region on Chr 7q11 and candidate genes were screened with semi-quantitative RT-PCR. Then, Southern blotting and genomic DNA sequencing identified the 3′-long terminal repeat portion of an intracisternal A particle element inserted into Intron 1 of Atcay, the gene which encodes caytaxin. Northern and Western blotting and quantitative real-time RT-PCR defined the Atcay allele in dt rats (Atcay dt) as hypomorphic. To establish a framework for functional studies of caytaxin, the developmental expression of rat Atcay transcript was analyzed with Northern blotting, relative quantitative multiplex real-time RT-PCR (QRT-PCR) and in situ hybridization. With a multiple tissue Northern blot, three Atcay transcripts were identified in brain but none were present in heart, spleen, lung, liver, muscle, kidney or testis. With a multiple time-point Northern blot, the same three transcripts were present in cerebellum at Embryonic Day (E15), Postnatal Day 1 (P1), P7, P14, P36 and 8 months. During early development (E15 to P14), the relative proportion of the smallest transcript was increased. QRT-PCR was performed with total RNA from cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus, hippocampus and cerebellum. Transcript levels peaked at P7 in hippocampus, increased linearly from P1 to P36 in cerebellum, and showed minimal developmental regulation in cerebral cortex. Radioactive in situ hybridization localized Atcay transcript to seemingly all neuronal populations in brain. In cerebellum, Atcay transcript was present in the molecular, Purkinje and granular layers; transcript density in the molecular layer peaked at P14. In the background of previous biochemical, behavioral and electrophysiological studies in the dt rat, our data are compatible with a vital role for caytaxin in the development and neurophysiology of cerebellar cortex. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication Title

Molecular Brain Research