FMRpolyG accumulates in FMR1 premutation granulosa cells

M. Friedman-Gohas, S. E. Elizur, O. Dratviman-Storobinsky, A. Aizer, J. Haas, H. Raanani, R. Orvieto, Y. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Background: Fragile X premutation (Amplification of CGG number 55-200) is associated with increased risk for fragile X-Associated Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (FXPOI) in females and fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) predominantly in males. Recently, it has been shown that CGG repeats trigger repeat associated non-AUG initiated translation (RAN) of a cryptic polyglycine-containing protein, FMRpolyG. This protein accumulates in ubiquitin-positive inclusions in neuronal brain cells of FXTAS patients and may lead to protein-mediated neurodegeneration. FMRpolyG inclusions were also found in ovary stromal cells of a FXPOI patient. The role of FMRpolyG expression has not been thoroughly examined in folliculogenesis related cells. The main goal of this study is to evaluate whether FMRpolyG accumulates in mural granulosa cells of FMR1 premutation carriers. Following FMRpolyG detection, we aim to examine premutation transfected COV434 as a suitable model used to identify RAN translation functions in FXPOI pathogenesis. Results: FMRpolyG and ubiquitin immunostained mural granulosa cells from six FMR1 premutation carriers demonstrated FMRpolyG aggregates. However, co-localization of FMRpolyG and ubiquitin appeared to vary within the FMR1 premutation carriers' group as three exhibited partial ubiquitin and FMRpolyG double staining and three premutation carriers demonstrated FMRpolyG single staining. None of the granulosa cells from the five control women expressed FMRpolyG. Additionally, human ovarian granulosa tumor, COV434, were transfected with two plasmids; both expressing 99CGG repeats but only one enables FMRpolyG expression. Like in granulosa cells from FMR1 premutation carriers, FMRpolyG aggregates were found only in COV434 transfected with expended CGG repeats and the ability to express FMRpolyG. Conclusions: Corresponding with previous studies in FXTAS, we demonstrated accumulation of FMRpolyG in mural granulosa cells of FMR1 premutation carriers. We also suggest that following further investigation, the premutation transfected COV434 might be an appropriate model for RAN translation studies. Detecting FMRpolyG accumulation in folliculogenesis related cells supports previous observations and imply a possible common protein-mediated toxic mechanism for both FXPOI and FXTAS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number22
JournalJournal of Ovarian Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 26 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • COV434
  • FMR1 premutation carriers
  • FMRpolyG
  • RAN translation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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