Control of the structural landscape and neuronal proteotoxicity of mutant Huntingtin by domains flanking the polyQ tract

Koning Shen, Barbara Calamini, Jonathan A. Fauerbach, Boxue Ma, Sarah H. Shahmoradian, Ivana L. Serrano Lachapel, Wah Chiu, Donald C. Lo, Judith Frydman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many neurodegenerative diseases are linked to amyloid aggregation. In Huntington’s disease (HD), neurotoxicity correlates with an increased aggregation propensity of a polyglutamine (polyQ) expansion in exon 1 of mutant huntingtin protein (mHtt). Here we establish how the domains flanking the polyQ tract shape the mHtt conformational landscape in vitro and in neurons. In vitro, the flanking domains have opposing effects on the conformation and stabilities of oligomers and amyloid fibrils. The N-terminal N17 promotes amyloid fibril formation, while the C-terminal Proline Rich Domain destabilizes fibrils and enhances oligomer formation. However, in neurons both domains act synergistically to engage protective chaperone and degradation pathways promoting mHtt proteostasis. Surprisingly, when proteotoxicity was assessed in rat corticostriatal brain slices, either flanking region alone sufficed to generate a neurotoxic conformation, while the polyQ tract alone exhibited minimal toxicity. Linking mHtt structural properties to its neuronal proteostasis should inform new strategies for neuroprotection in polyQ- expansion diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere18065
JournaleLife
Volume5
Issue numberOCTOBER2016
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)

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