TRIM family proteins are involved in a broad range of biological processes, and their alteration results in many diverse pathological conditions found in genetic diseases, viral infections, and cancers. However, the spatial and temporal expression and function of TRIM9, one of TRIM family proteins, remain obscure. Our results here showed that TRIM9 protein is mainly expressed in the cerebral cortex, and functions as an E3 ubiquitin ligase collaborating with an E2 ubiquitin conjugating enzyme UbcH5b. Immunohistochemical examination revealed that TRIM9 is localized to the neurons in the normal mouse and human brain and that TRIM9 immunoreactivity is severely decreased in the affected brain areas in Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. This repressed level of TRIM9 protein was supported by immunoblotting analysis. Intriguingly, cortical and brainstem-type Lewy bodies were immunopositive for TRIM9. These results suggest that TRIM9 plays an important role in the regulation of neuronal functions and participates in pathological process of Lewy body disease through its ligase activity.
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