Brief Communication | Published:

A toxic mutant huntingtin species is resistant to selective autophagy

Nature Chemical Biology volume 13, pages 11521154 (2017) | Download Citation

Abstract

Protein misfolding is a common theme in neurodegenerative disorders including Huntington's disease (HD). The HD-causing mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT) has an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) stretch that may adopt multiple conformations, and the most toxic of these is the one recognized by antibody 3B5H10. Here we show that the 3B5H10-recognized mHTT species has a slower degradation rate due to its resistance to selective autophagy in human cells and brains, revealing mechanisms of its higher toxicity.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to thank C. Lu (biostatistician) for the statistical analysis, L. Ma and S. Hexige at Fudan University for sharing some of the patient fibroblast lines, K. Kegel at MGH Harvard Medical School for cDNA plasmids, E. Sapp at MGH Harvard Medical School for lysate of the human post-mortem brain tissues, and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31422024, 91649105, 31371421, 31601105) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFC0905100) for funding.

Author information

Author notes

    • Yuhua Fu
    • , Peng Wu
    • , Yuyin Pan
    •  & Xiaoli Sun

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. State Key Laboratory of Medical Neurobiology, Neurology Department at Huashan Hospital, School of Life Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

    • Yuhua Fu
    • , Peng Wu
    • , Yuyin Pan
    • , Xiaoli Sun
    • , Huiya Yang
    •  & Boxun Lu
  2. Institutes of Biomedical Sciences, Fudan University, Shanghai, China.

    • Xiaoli Sun
  3. MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA.

    • Marian Difiglia
  4. Collaborative Innovation Center of Genetics and Development, Shanghai, China.

    • Boxun Lu

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Contributions

B.L. perceived the idea, initiated the project and designed the experiments. P.W., Y.F., Y.P. and X.S. performed the CH-chase experiments. Y.F. performed all the immunoprecipitation–western experiments with the help from others for blinding. H.Y. did the cell culture, molecular cloning and protein extraction. M.D. provided essential reagents and intellectual inputs.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Boxun Lu.

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    Supplementary Results, Supplementary Table 1 and Supplementary Figures 1–10

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nchembio.2461

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