Senataxin is an evolutionarily conserved RNA-DNA helicase involved in DNA repair and transcription termination that is associated with human neurodegenerative disorders. Here, we investigated whether Senataxin loss affects protein homeostasis based on previous work showing R-loop-driven accumulation of DNA damage and protein aggregates in human cells. We find that Senataxin loss results in the accumulation of insoluble proteins, including many factors known to be prone to aggregation in neurodegenerative disorders. These aggregates are located primarily in the nucleolus and are promoted by upregulation of non-coding RNAs expressed from the intergenic spacer region of ribosomal DNA. We also map sites of R-loop accumulation in human cells lacking Senataxin and find higher RNA-DNA hybrids within the ribosomal DNA, peri-centromeric regions, and other intergenic sites but not at annotated protein-coding genes. These findings indicate that Senataxin loss affects the solubility of the proteome through the regulation of transcription-dependent lesions in the nucleus and the nucleolus.

This article is distributed under the terms of an Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike–No Mirror Sites license for the first six months after the publication date (see http://www.rupress.org/terms/). After six months it is available under a Creative Commons License (Attribution–Noncommercial–Share Alike 4.0 International license, as described at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/4.0/).
You do not currently have access to this content.