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Mol Cell Neurosci. 2000 Oct;16(4):313-23.

Inhibition of Huntington synthesis by antisense oligodeoxynucleotides.

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Department of Medical Biochemistry and Genetics, Panum Institute, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


The Huntington disease gone encodes the protein huntington, which is widely expressed during embryonic development and in mature tissues. In order to elucidate the physiological function of huntington, which so far is unknown, we intend to study the effect of antisense down-regulated huntington expression. We have found an inhibiting effect of a phosphorothioated oligodeoxynucleotide (PS-ODN) added to the culture medium of embryonic teratocarcinoma cells (NT2) and postmitotic neurons (NT2N neurons) differentiated from the NT2 cells. Specific inhibition of expression of endogenous huntington was achieved in NT2N neurons in the concentration range of 1-5 microM PS-ODN, whereas no inhibition was obtained in NT2 cells. We describe in detail the selection of the target sequence for the antisense oligo and the uptake, intracellular distribution, and stability of the antisense PS-ODN in the two cell types. Antisense down-regulation of huntington in this model of human neurons represents a suitable approach to study its normal function.

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