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Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Aug 15;11(17):1939-51.

Increased huntingtin protein length reduces the number of polyglutamine-induced gene expression changes in mouse models of Huntington's disease.

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  • 1Center for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics, Department of Medical Genetics, Children's and Women's Hospital, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V5H 4H4.


Both transcriptional dysregulation and proteolysis of mutant huntingtin (htt) are postulated to be important components of Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis. In previous studies, we demonstrated that transgenic mice that express short mutant htt fragments containing 171 or fewer N-terminal residues (R6/2 and N171-82Q mice) recapitulate many of the mRNA changes observed in human HD brain. To examine whether htt protein length influences the ability of its expanded polyglutamine domain to alter gene expression, we conducted mRNA profiling analyses of mice that express an extended N-terminal fragment (HD46, HD100; 964 amino acids) or full-length (YAC72; 3144 amino acids) mutant htt transprotein. Oligonucleotide microarray analyses of HD46 and YAC72 mice identified fewer differentially expressed mRNAs than were seen in transgenic mice expressing short N-terminal mutant htt fragments. Histologic analyses also detected limited changes in these mice (small decreases in adenosine A2a receptor mRNA and dopamine D2 receptor binding in HD100 animals; small increases in dopamine D1 receptor binding in HD46 and HD100 mice). Neither HD46 nor YAC72 mice exhibited altered mRNA levels similar to those observed previously in R6/2 mice, N171-82Q mice or human HD patients. These findings suggest that htt protein length influences the ability of an expanded polyglutamine domain to alter gene expression. Furthermore, our findings suggest that short N-terminal fragments of mutant htt might be responsible for the gene expression alterations observed in human HD brain.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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