Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Huntington's disease

Flipping a switch on huntingtin

Phosphomimetic mutations at huntingtin (Htt) Ser13 and Ser16 within the conserved N-terminal 17-amino-acid domain profoundly suppresses its toxicity in cell and mouse models of Huntington's disease. New research reveals that cell stress acts as a stimulus for double phosphorylation of endogenous Htt, causing its nuclear translocation, and shows that certain chemicals can target such molecular processes in Huntington's disease cell models.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: A schematic of Htt N17-mediated physiological and pathological pathways in Huntington's disease.


  1. 1

    Thompson, L.M. et al. J. Cell Biol. 187, 1083–1099 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Gu, X. et al. Neuron 64, 828–840 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Atwal, R.S. et al. Nat. Chem. Biol. 7, 453–460 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Atwal, R.S. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 16, 2600–2615 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Rockabrand, E. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 16, 61–77 (2007).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Cornett, J. et al. Nat. Genet. 37, 198–204 (2005).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Thakur, A.K. et al. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 16, 380–389 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Tam, S. et al. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. 16, 1279–1285 (2009).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Steffan, J.S. et al. Science 304, 100–104 (2004).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Havel, L.S. et al. Hum. Mol. Genet. 20, 1424–1437 (2011).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to X William Yang.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Greiner, E., Yang, X. Flipping a switch on huntingtin. Nat Chem Biol 7, 412–414 (2011).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing