Two genes, mutations in which result in the phenotype of tuberous sclerosis (TSC), have recently been cloned. TSC2 on chromosome 16p13.3 encodes the protein tuberin, which appears to have growth regulating properties. TSC1 on chromosome 9q34 encodes hamartin which, as yet, has no specified cellular functions. Polyclonal antibodies were raised to synthetic peptides representing portions of tuberin and hamartin and used in immunoblots and immunohistochemical studies to localize the proteins in surgically resected neocortical tubers from four TSC patients. On Western blots of autopsy brain specimens, K-562 cell, and NT2 lysates, each antibody labelled a single band at the expected molecular weight. In immunohistochemical protocols on paraffin embedded tissue, antibodies to both tuberin and hamartin prominently labelled atypical and dysmorphic neuroglial cells that are a defining feature of TSC tubers. Some abnormal cells within cortical tuber sections were labelled with both tuberin and hamartin antisera. Our results suggest that tuberin and hamartin are both robustly expressed in similar populations of neuroglial cells of TSC tubers, even in the presence of TSC1 or TSC2 germline mutations. The roles of these gene products in normal and abnormal cortical development, tuber pathogenesis and the generation of seizures remain to be defined.
Johnson, M. W., Emelin, J. K., Park, S. H., & Vinters, H. V. (1999). Co-localization of TSC1 and TSC2 gene products in tubers of patients with tuberous sclerosis. Brain Pathology (Zurich, Switzerland), 9(1), 45-54.