Mutations in the Treacher Collins syndrome gene lead to mislocalization of the nucleolar protein treacle

Karen L. Marsh, Jill Dixon, Michael J. Dixon

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Treacher Collins syndrome (TCS) is an autosomal dominant disorder of craniofacial development, the features of which include conductive hearing loss and cleft palate. The TCS gene (TCOF1), which is localized to chromosome 5q32-q33.1, recently has been identified by positional cloning. Analysis of TCOF1 revealed that the majority of TCS mutations result in the creation of a premature termination codon. The function of the predicted protein, treacle, is unknown, although indirect evidence from database analyses suggests that it may function as a shuttling nucleolar phosphoprotein. In the current study, we provide the first direct evidence that treacle is a nucleolar protein. An antibody generated against treacle shows that it localizes to the nucleolus. Fusion proteins tagged to a green fluorescent protein reporter were shown to localize to different compartments of the cell when putative nuclear localization signals were deleted. Parallel experiments using conserved regions of the murine homologue of TCOF1 confirmed these results. Site-directed mutagenesis has been used to recreate mutations observed in individuals with TCS. The resulting truncated proteins are mislocalized within the cell, which further supports the hypothesis that an integral part of treacle's function involves shuttling between the nucleolus and the cytoplasm. TCS is, therefore, the first Mendelian disorder resulting from mutations which lead to aberrant expression of a nucleolar protein.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1795-1800
    Number of pages5
    JournalHuman Molecular Genetics
    Issue number11
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 1998


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