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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 15;286(28):25236-45. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.216333. Epub 2011 May 12.

Interaction with polyglutamine-expanded huntingtin alters cellular distribution and RNA processing of huntingtin yeast two-hybrid protein A (HYPA).

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  • 1State Key Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200031, China.


Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal inherited disorder that causes the deterioration of brain cells. The polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion of huntingtin (Htt) is implicated in the pathogenesis of HD via interaction with an RNA splicing factor, Htt yeast two-hybrid protein A/forming-binding protein 11 (HYPA/FBP11). Besides the pathogenic polyQ expansion, Htt also contains a proline-rich region (PRR) located exactly in the C terminus to the polyQ tract. However, how the polyQ expansion influences the PRR-mediated protein interaction and how this abnormal interaction leads to the biological consequence remain elusive. Our NMR structural analysis indicates that the PRR motif of Htt cooperatively interacts with the tandem WW domains of HYPA through domain chaperoning effect of WW1 on WW2. The polyQ-expanded Htt sequesters HYPA to the cytosolic location and then significantly reduces the efficiency of pre-mRNA splicing. We propose that the toxic gain-of-function of the polyQ-expanded Htt that causes dysfunction of cellular RNA processing contributes to the pathogenesis of HD.

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