Non-cell-autonomous effect of mutant proteins expressed in glia has been implicated in several neurodegenerative disorders, whereas molecules mediating the toxicity are currently not known. We identified a novel molecule named multiple Î ±-helix protein located at ER (Maxer) downregulated by mutant ataxin-1 (Atx1) in Bergmann glia. Maxer is an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane protein interacting with CDK5RAP3. Maxer anchors CDK5RAP3 to the ER and inhibits its function of Cyclin D1 transcription repression in the nucleus. The loss of Maxer eventually induces cell accumulation at G1 phase. It was also shown that mutant Atx1 represses Maxer and inhibits proliferation of Bergmann glia in vitro. Consistently, Bergmann glia are reduced in the cerebellum of mutant Atx1 knockin mice before onset. Glutamate-aspartate transporter reduction in Bergmann glia by mutant Atx1 and vulnerability of Purkinje cell to glutamate are both strengthened by Maxer knockdown in Bergmann glia, whereas Maxer overexpression rescues them. Collectively, these results suggest that the reduction of Maxer mediates functional deficiency of Bergmann glia, and might contribute to the non-cell-autonomous pathology of SCA1.
- Bergmann glia
- non-cell-autonomous pathology