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Korean J Pediatr. 2005 Apr;48(4):425-432. English. Original Article.
Shin SM , Paik KH , Jin DK .
Clinical Research Center, Samsung Biomedical Research Institute, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Sungkyunkwan University, School of Medicine, Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea.

PURPOSE: Polyglutamine diseases are a group of diseases caused by the expansion of a polyglutamine tract in the protein. The present study was performed to verify if polyglutamine disease transgenic Drosophila models show similar dysfunctions as are seen in human patients. METHODS: Polyglutamine disease transgenic Drosophila were tested for their climbing ability. And using genetic methods, the effects of anti-apoptotic gene bcl-2 and chemical chaperones on neurodegeneration were observed. Also, spinocerebellar ataxia 2 (SCA2) transgenic Drosophila lines were generated for future studies. RESULTS: Expanded forms of spinocerebellar ataxia 3 (SCA3) transgenic protein causes characteristic locomotor dysfunction when expressed in the nervous system of Drosophila but the anti-apoptotic gene bcl-2 shows no evidence of ameliorating the deleterious effect of the expanded protein. However, Glycerol, a chemical chaperone, seemed to reduce the toxicity, at least in the eyes of the transgenic flies. The level SCA2 expression is too weak in the transgenic SCA2 Drosophila for evaluation. CONCLUSION: SCA3 transgenic Drosophila show ataxic behavior as observed in human patients. Chemical chaperones such as glycerol may prove beneficial in this class of genetic disease, which has no current method of cure.

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