The protein huntingtin (htt), aggregated in neuronal nuclear inclusions, is pathognomonic of Huntington's disease (HD). Constructs, translated in vitro from the N terminus of htt, containing either polyQ23 from a normal individual, or polyQ41 or polyQ67 from an HD patient, were all soluble. Transglutaminase (TGase) crosslinked these proteins, and the aggregations did not have the staining properties of amyloid. More TGase-catalyzed aggregates formed when the polyglutamine domain of htt exceeded the pathologic threshold of polyQ36. Furthermore, shorter htt constructs, containing 135 aa or fewer, formed more aggregates than did larger htt constructs. TGase activity in the HD brain was increased compared with the control, with notable increases in cell nuclei. The increased TGase activity was brain specific. In lymphoblastoid cells from HD patients, TGase activity was decreased. TGase- mediated crosslinking of htt may be involved in the formation of the nonamyloidogenic nuclear inclusions found in the HD brain. The staining properties of nuclear inclusions in the HD brain revealed that they were not amyloid.
|Number of pages
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Jun 22 1999
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