Avraham Ashkenazi

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Nine neurodegenerative diseases are caused by expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tracts in different proteins, such as huntingtin in Huntington's disease and ataxin 3 in spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3). Age at onset of disease decreases with increasing polyglutamine length in these proteins and the normal length also varies. PolyQ expansions drive(More)
Autophagy is a conserved pathway that delivers cytoplasmic contents to the lysosome for degradation. Here we consider its roles in neuronal health and disease. We review evidence from mouse knockout studies demonstrating the normal functions of autophagy as a protective factor against neurodegeneration associated with intracytoplasmic aggregate-prone(More)
Autophagy is a conserved intracellular pathway that delivers cytoplasmic contents to lysosomes for degradation via double-membrane autophagosomes. Autophagy substrates include organelles such as mitochondria, aggregate-prone proteins that cause neurodegeneration and various pathogens. Thus, this pathway appears to be relevant to the pathogenesis of diverse(More)
Phosphatidylinositol 3-phosphate (PI(3)P), the product of class III PI3K VPS34, recruits specific autophagic effectors, like WIPI2, during the initial steps of autophagosome biogenesis and thereby regulates canonical autophagy. However, mammalian cells can produce autophagosomes through enigmatic noncanonical VPS34-independent pathways. Here we show that(More)
Expansions of polyglutamine (polyQ) tracts in different proteins cause 9 neurodegenerative conditions, such as Huntington disease and various ataxias. However, many normal mammalian proteins contain shorter polyQ tracts. As these are frequently conserved in multiple species, it is likely that some of these polyQ tracts have important but unknown biological(More)
The immunogenetics of celiac disease demonstrates a highly significant association with the HLA class II alleles DQA1*0501 DQB1*0201 encoded in either a cis- or trans-configuration. In Northern Europe, these alleles are found in linkage disequilibrium with DRB1*0301 while in Southern Europe an additional secondary association through linkage disequilibrium(More)
Forms of Parkinson's disease (PD) are associated with lysosomal and autophagic dysfunction. ATP13A2, which is mutated in some types of early-onset Parkinsonism, has been suggested as a regulator of the autophagy-lysosome pathway. However, little is known about the ATP13A2 effectors and how they regulate this pathway. Here we show that ATP13A2 depletion(More)
The study of celiac disease among Southern European populations has confirmed the hypothesis from Northern Europe that a close association exists between disease susceptibility and a combination of polymorphic alleles at the HLA-DQ loci (DQA1*0501-DQB1*0201) arranged either in a cis- or a trans-configuration. Attempts to identify additional genetic(More)
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