Overexpression of mutant HSP27 causes axonal neuropathy in mice

Jinho Lee, Sung Chul Jung, Jaesoon Joo, Yu Ri Choi, Hyo Won Moon, Geon Kwak, Ha Kyung Yeo, Ji Su Lee, Hye Jee Ahn, Namhee Jung, Sunhee Hwang, Jingeun Rheey, So Youn Woo, Ji Yon Kim, Young Bin Hong, Byung Ok Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background: Mutations in heat shock 27 kDa protein 1 (HSP27 or HSPB1) cause distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN) or Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2 F (CMT2F) according to unknown factors. Mutant HSP27 proteins affect axonal transport by reducing acetylated tubulin. Results: We generated a transgenic mouse model overexpressing HSP27-S135F mutant protein driven by Cytomegalovirus (CMV) immediate early promoter. The mouse phenotype was similar to dHMN patients in that they exhibit motor neuropathy. To determine the phenotypic aberration of transgenic mice, behavior test, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), electrophysiological study, and pathology were performed. Rotarod test showed that founder mice exhibited lowered motor performance. MRI also revealed marked fatty infiltration in the anterior and posterior compartments at calf level. Electrophysiologically, compound muscle action potential (CMAP) but not motor nerve conduction velocity (MNCV) was reduced in the transgenic mice. Toluidine staining with semi-thin section of sciatic nerve showed the ratio of large myelinated axon fiber was reduced, which might cause reduced locomotion in the transgenic mice. Electron microscopy also revealed abundant aberrant myelination. Immunohistochemically, neuronal dysfunctions included elevated level of phosphorylated neurofilament and reduced level of acetylated tubulin in the sural nerve of transgenic mice. There was no additional phenotype besides motor neuronal defects. Conclusions: Overexpression of HSP27-S135F protein causes peripheral neuropathy. The mouse model can be applied to future development of therapeutic strategies for dHMN or CMT2F.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Biomedical Science
Issue number1
StatePublished - 19 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Lee et al.


  • Axonopathy
  • Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT)
  • Distal hereditary motor neuropathy (dHMN)
  • Heat shock 27 kDa protein 1 (HSP27 or HSPB1)
  • Magnetic resonance image (MRI)
  • Mouse model


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