PIAS1 modulates striatal transcription, DNA damage repair, and SUMOylation with relevance to Huntington’s disease

Eva L. Morozko, Charlene Smith-Geater, Alejandro Mas Monteys, Subrata Pradhan, Ryan G. Lim, Peter Langfelder, Marketta Kachemov, Austin Hill, Jennifer T. Stocksdale, Pieter R. Cullis, Jie Wu, Joseph Ochaba, Ricardo Miramontes, Anirban Chakraborty, Tapas K. Hazra, Alice Lau, Sophie St-Cyr, Iliana Orellana, Lexi Kopan, Keona Q. WangSylvia Yeung, Blair R. Leavitt, Jack C. Reidling, X. William Yang, Joan S. Steffan, Beverly L. Davidson, Partha S. Sarkar, Leslie M. Thompson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


DNA damage repair genes are modifiers of disease onset in Huntington’s disease (HD), but how this process intersects with associated disease pathways remains unclear. Here we evaluated the mechanistic contributions of protein inhibitor of activated STAT-1 (PIAS1) in HD mice and HD patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and find a link between PIAS1 and DNA damage repair pathways. We show that PIAS1 is a component of the transcription-coupled repair complex, that includes the DNA damage end processing enzyme polynucleotide kinase-phosphatase (PNKP), and that PIAS1 is a SUMO E3 ligase for PNKP. Pias1 knockdown (KD) in HD mice had a normalizing effect on HD transcriptional dysregulation associated with synaptic function and disease-associated transcriptional coexpression modules enriched for DNA damage repair mechanisms as did reduction of PIAS1 in HD iPSC-derived neurons. KD also restored mutant HTT-perturbed enzymatic activity of PNKP and modulated genomic integrity of several transcriptionally normalized genes. The findings here now link SUMO modifying machinery to DNA damage repair responses and transcriptional modulation in neurodegenerative disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2021836118
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 26 2021


  • DNA damage repair
  • Huntington’s disease
  • PIAS
  • PNKP
  • SUMO

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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