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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Polyglutamine repeat length-dependent proteolysis of huntingtin.

  • Author(s): Sun, Banghua
  • Fan, Wei
  • Balciunas, Aldona
  • Cooper, Jillian K
  • Bitan, Gal
  • Steavenson, Shirley
  • Denis, Paul E
  • Young, Yunjen
  • Adler, Beverly
  • Daugherty, Larry
  • Manoukian, Raffi
  • Elliott, Gary
  • Shen, Wenyan
  • Talvenheimo, Jane
  • Teplow, David B
  • Haniu, Mitsuru
  • Haldankar, Raj
  • Wypych, Jette
  • Ross, Christopher A
  • Citron, Martin
  • Richards, William G
  • et al.

Amino-terminal fragments of huntingtin, which contain the expanded polyglutamine repeat, have been proposed to contribute to the pathology of Huntington's disease (HD). Data supporting this claim have been generated from patients with HD in which truncated amino-terminal fragments forming intranuclear inclusions have been observed, and from animal and cell-based models of HD where it has been demonstrated that truncated polyglutamine-containing fragments of htt are more toxic than full-length huntingtin. We report here the identification of a region within huntingtin, spanning from amino acids 63 to 111, that is cleaved in cultured cells to generate a fragment of similar size to those observed in patients with HD. Importantly, proteolytic cleavage within this region appears dependent upon the length of the polyglutamine repeat within huntingtin, with pathological polyglutamine repeat-containing huntingtin being more efficiently cleaved than huntingtin containing polyglutamine repeats of nonpathological size.

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