Down syndrome (DS) is the most common genetic aberration leading to intellectual disability. DS results from an extra copy of the long arm of human chromosome 21 (HSA21) and the increased expression of trisomic genes due to gene dosage. While expression in DS and DS models has been studied extensively at the RNA level, much less is known about expression of trisomic genes at the protein level. We have used quantitative Western blotting with antibodies to 20 proteins encoded by HSA21 to assess trisomic protein expression in lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs) from patients with DS and in brains from two mouse models of DS. These antibodies have recently become available and the 20 proteins largely have not been investigated previously for their potential contributions to the phenotypic features of DS. Twelve proteins had detectable expression in LCLs and three, CCT8, MX1 and PWP2, showed elevated levels in LCLs derived from patients with DS compared with controls. Antibodies against 15 proteins detected bands of appropriate sizes in lysates from mouse brain cortex. Genes for 12 of these proteins are trisomic in the Tc1 mouse model of DS, but only SIM2 and ZNF295 showed elevated expression in Tc1 cortex when compared with controls. Genes for eight of the 15 proteins are trisomic in the Ts65Dn mouse model of DS, but only ZNF294 was over expressed in cortex. Comparison of trisomic gene expression at the protein level with previous reports at the mRNA level showed many inconsistencies. These may be caused by natural inter-individual variability, differences in the age of mice analyzed, or post-transcriptional regulation of gene dosage effects. These antibodies provide resources for further investigation of the molecular basis of intellectual disability in DS.
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