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FEBS J. 2006 Dec;273(23):5428-41.

Huntingtin inclusion bodies are iron-dependent centers of oxidative events.

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Laboratoire Stress Oxydant, Chaperons et Apoptose, Université Claude Bernard Lyon-1, Villeurbanne, France.

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  • FEBS J. 2007 Feb;274(4):1123.


Recently, we reported that the transient expression of huntingtin exon1 polypeptide containing polyglutamine tracts of various sizes (httEx1-polyQ) in cell models of Huntington disease generated an oxidative stress whose intensity was CAG repeat expansion-dependent. Here, we have analyzed the intracellular localization of the oxidative events generated by the httEx1-polyQ polypeptides. Analysis of live COS-7 cells as well as neuronal SK-N-SH and PC12 cells incubated with hydroethidine or dichlorofluorescein diacetate revealed oxidation of these probes at the level of the inclusion bodies formed by httEx1-polyQ polypeptides. The intensity and frequency of the oxidative events among the inclusions were CAG repeat expansion-dependent. Electron microscopic analysis of cell sections revealed the presence of oxidation-dependent morphologic alterations in the vicinity of httEx1-polyQ inclusion bodies. Moreover, a high level of oxidized proteins was recovered in partially purified inclusions. We also report that the iron chelator deferroxamine altered the structure, localization and oxidative potential of httEx1-polyQ inclusion bodies. Hence, despite the fact that the formation of inclusion bodies may represent a defense reaction of the cell to eliminate httEx1 mutant polypeptide, this phenomenon appears inherent to the generation of iron-dependent oxidative events that can be deleterious to the cell.

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