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Hum Mol Genet. 2002 Oct 1;11(21):2547-58.

PACSIN 1 interacts with huntingtin and is absent from synaptic varicosities in presymptomatic Huntington's disease brains.

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Institute for Biochemistry II, University of Cologne, D-50931 Cologne, Germany.


Huntington's disease (HD) is caused by a pathological expansion of a CAG repeat in the first exon of the gene coding for huntingtin, resulting in an abnormally long polyglutamine stretch. Despite its widespread expression, mutant huntingtin leads to selective neuronal loss in the striatum and cortex. Here we report that the neurospecific phosphoprotein PACSIN 1, which has been implicated as playing a central role in synaptic vesicle recycling, interacts with huntingtin via its C-terminal SH3 domain. Moreover, two other isoforms, PACSIN 2 and 3, which show a wider tissue distribution including the brain, do not interact with huntingtin despite a highly conserved SH3 domain. Furthermore, this interaction is repeat-length-dependent and is enhanced with mutant huntingtin, possibly causing the sequestration of PACSIN 1. Normally, PACSIN 1 is located along neurites and within synaptic boutons, but in HD patient neurons, there is a progressive loss of PACSIN 1 immunostaining in synaptic varicosities, beginning in presymptomatic and early-stage HD. Further, PACSIN 1 immunostaining of HD patient tissue reveals a more cytoplasmic distribution of the protein, with particular concentration in the perinuclear region coincident with mutant huntingtin. Thus, the specific interaction of huntingtin with the neuronal PACSIN isoform, PACSIN 1, and its altered intracellular distribution in pathological tissue, together with the observed differences in the binding behavior, suggest a role for PACSIN 1 during early stages of the selective neuropathology of HD.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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