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In neurons, posttranslational modification by palmitate regulates the trafficking and function of signaling molecules, neurotransmitter receptors, and associated synaptic scaffolding proteins. However, the enzymatic machinery involved in protein palmitoylation has remained elusive. Here, using biochemical assays, we show that huntingtin (htt) interacting(More)
Post-translational modification by the lipid palmitate is crucial for the correct targeting and function of many proteins. Here we show that huntingtin (htt) is normally palmitoylated at cysteine 214, which is essential for its trafficking and function. The palmitoylation and distribution of htt are regulated by the palmitoyl transferase huntingtin(More)
Huntington disease (HD) is caused by polyglutamine [poly(Q)] expansion in the protein huntingtin (htt). Although the exact mechanism of disease progression remains to be elucidated, altered interactions of mutant htt with its protein partners could contribute to the disease. Using the yeast two-hybrid system, we have isolated a novel htt interacting(More)
Developing new ways of delivering cells to diseased tissue will be a key factor in translating cell therapeutics research into clinical use. Magnetically targeting cells enables delivery of significant numbers of cells to key areas of specific organs. To demonstrate feasibility in neurological tissue, we targeted cells magnetically to the upper hemisphere(More)
Palmitoylation, a post-translational modification of cysteine residues with the lipid palmitate, has recently emerged as an important mechanism for regulating protein trafficking and function. With the identification of 23 DHHC mammalian palmitoyl acyl transferases (PATs), a key question was the nature of substrate-enzyme specificity for these PATs. Using(More)
Transplantation of photoreceptor precursor cells (PPCs) differentiated from human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) is a promising approach to treat common blinding diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and retinitis pigmentosa. However, existing PPC generation methods are inefficient. To enhance differentiation protocols for rapid and high-yield(More)
PURPOSE X-linked retinoschisis (XLRS) is juvenile-onset macular degeneration caused by haploinsufficiency of the extracellular cell adhesion protein retinoschisin (RS1). RS1 mutations can lead to either a non-functional protein or the absence of protein secretion, and it has been established that extracellular deficiency of RS1 is the underlying cause of(More)
The molecular signaling leading to cell death in hereditary neurological diseases such as retinal degeneration is incompletely understood. Previous neuroprotective studies have focused on apoptotic pathways; however, incomplete suppression of cell death with apoptosis inhibitors suggests that other mechanisms are at play. Here, we report that different(More)
Cell therapy, to replace lost tissue, is a promising approach for the treatment of various neurodegenerative diseases. Many studies suggest, however, that the percentage of transplanted cells that survive and undergo functional integration remains low as a result of immune rejection, suboptimal precursor cell type, trauma during cell transplantation, toxic(More)
We proposed to optimize the retinal differentiation protocols for human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) by improving cell handling. To improve efficiency, we first focused on the production of just one retinal precursor cell type (photoreceptor precursor cells [PPCs]) rather than the production of a range of retinal cells. Combining information from a number(More)