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Sci Rep. 2011;1:140. doi: 10.1038/srep00140. Epub 2011 Nov 3.

Huntingtin mediates dendritic transport of β-actin mRNA in rat neurons.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology, New York University School of Medicine, 550 First Ave., New York, NY 10016, USA; Institute of Pathology, University Medical Center, Johannes Gutenberg University, Langenbeckstrasse 1, D-55101 Mainz, Germany.


Transport of mRNAs to diverse neuronal locations via RNA granules serves an important function in regulating protein synthesis within restricted sub-cellular domains. We recently detected the Huntington's disease protein huntingtin (Htt) in dendritic RNA granules; however, the functional significance of this localization is not known. Here we report that Htt and the huntingtin-associated protein 1 (HAP1) are co-localized with the microtubule motor proteins, the KIF5A kinesin and dynein, during dendritic transport of β-actin mRNA. Live cell imaging demonstrated that β-actin mRNA is associated with Htt, HAP1, and dynein intermediate chain in cultured neurons. Reduction in the levels of Htt, HAP1, KIF5A, and dynein heavy chain by lentiviral-based shRNAs resulted in a reduction in the transport of β-actin mRNA. These findings support a role for Htt in participating in the mRNA transport machinery that also contains HAP1, KIF5A, and dynein.

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