Cytosolic localization of Fox proteins in motor neurons of G93A SOD1 mice
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NeuN is a nuclear protein expressed exclusively in mature neurons and has served for many years as a reliable neuronal marker in immunohistochemical labeling studies. In 2009, NeuN was identified as Fox3, one of three closely related RNA binding proteins important in pre-mRNA splicing. During the course of a previous study using G93A SOD1 mice, a model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), we observed that NeuN was significantly redistributed to the cytosol. Since altered splicing may be important in the pathogenesis of ALS, we compared the localization (predominantly nuclear or cytosolic) of all three Fox proteins in the lumbar spinal cord of wild-type and G93A SOD1 mice before and after the development of clinical signs of disease. The Fox proteins regulate their own splicing, and we also examined the major Fox protein isoforms in nuclear and cytosolic fractions of lumbar spinal cord by Western blotting. We report here that Fox3 and Fox2 undergo a major cytosolic relocalization in this ALS model that increases with age and that is associated with progressive alterations in the splicing profiles of all three Fox proteins.
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