alexa Huntingtin and its role in neuronal degeneration
Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Sciences

Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access

Author(s): ShiHua Li, XiaoJiang Li

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Huntington's disease results from a polyglutamine expansion in the N-terminal region of huntingtin (htt). This abnormality causes protein aggregation and leads to neurotoxicity. Despite its widespread expression in the brain and body, mutant htt causes selective neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease patient brains. However, Huntington's disease mouse models expressing mutant htt do not have obvious neurodegeneration despite significant neurological symptoms. Most Huntington's disease mouse models display the accumulation of toxic N-terminal mutant htt fragments in both the nucleus and neuronal processes, suggesting that these subcellular sites are hotspots for the early neuropathology of Huntington's disease. Intranuclear htt affects gene expression and may cause neuronal dysfunction. Mutant htt in neuronal processes affects axonal transport and induces degeneration, and these effects may be more relevant to the selective neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease. Growing evidence has also suggested that mutant htt mediates multiple pathological pathways. This review discusses the early pathological changes identified in Huntington's disease cellular and animal models. These changes may be the causes of neurode-generation.

This article was published in Neuroscientist and referenced in Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs: Open Access

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