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Neuroreport. 1999 Aug 20;10(12):2435-8.

Caspase activation during apoptotic cell death induced by expanded polyglutamine in N2a cells.

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  • 1Laboratory for CAG repeat diseases, RIKEN Brain Science Institute, Saitama, Japan.


Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder. To investigate the mechanism of neurodegeneration induced by mutant huntingtin, we developed a stable neuro2a cell line expressing truncated N-terminal huntingtin (tNhtt) with EGFP using the ecdysone-inducible system. The formation of aggregates and the cell death induced by expression of tNhtt with expanded polyglutamine was repeat length- and dose-dependent. Caspases were activated, and the death substrates of caspases, lamin B and ICAD (an inhibitor of caspase-activated DNase), were cleaved in this cell death process. The cleavage of lamin B was inhibited by caspase inhibitors. These findings suggest that the cell death induced by tNhtt with expanded polyglutamine is mediated by caspases.

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