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Huntington's disease is caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the gene encoding huntingtin (HTT), resulting in loss of striatal and cortical neurons. Given that the gene product is widely expressed, it remains unclear why neurons are selectively targeted. Here we show the relationship between synaptic and extrasynaptic activity, inclusion formation of mutant(More)
Levels of full-length huntingtin (FL htt) influence organ and body weight, independent of polyglutamine length. The growth hormone-insulin like growth factor-1 (GH-IGF-1) axis is well established as a regulator of organ growth and body weight. In this study, we investigate the involvement of the IGF-1 pathway in mediating the effect of htt on body weight.(More)
Caspases are cysteine-aspartic proteases that post-translationally modify their substrates through cleavage at specific sites, which causes either substrate inactivation or a gain of function through the generation of active fragments. Currently, each caspase is categorized as either an initiator of apoptosis or an end-stage executioner. Caspase-6 was(More)
Neurodegenerative diseases, exemplified by Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease, are characterized by progressive neuropsychiatric dysfunction and loss of specific neuronal subtypes. Although there are differences in the exact sites of pathology, and the clinical profiles of these two conditions only partially overlap, considerable similarities in(More)
Autophagy is an important biological process that is essential for the removal of damaged organelles and toxic or aggregated proteins by delivering them to the lysosome for degradation. Consequently, autophagy has become a primary target for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases that involve aggregating proteins. In Huntington disease (HD), an(More)
Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an expanded CAG repeat in the HTT gene, remains without a treatment to modify the course of the illness. Lithium, a drug widely used for the treatment of bipolar disorder, has been shown to exert neuroprotective effects in a number of models of neurological disease but may have various toxic(More)
Caspase-6 (CASP6) has an important role in axonal degeneration during neuronal apoptosis and in the neurodegenerative diseases Alzheimer and Huntington disease. Decreasing CASP6 activity may help to restore neuronal function in these and other diseases such as stroke and ischemia, where increased CASP6 activity has been implicated. The key to finding(More)
Huntington disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an elongated polyglutamine tract in huntingtin (htt). htt normally undergoes different posttranslational modifications (PTMs), including phosphorylation, SUMOylation, ubiquitination, acetylation, proteolytic cleavage, and palmitoylation. In the presence of the HD mutation, some PTMs are(More)
Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a cellular pathway involved in normal cell turnover, developmental tissue remodeling, embryonic development, cellular homeostasis maintenance and chemical-induced cell death. Caspases are a family of intracellular proteases that play a key role in apoptosis. Aberrant activation of caspases has been implicated in human(More)
BACKGROUND Huntington Disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder in which caspase activation and cleavage of substrates, including the huntingtin protein, has been invoked as a pathological mechanism. Specific changes in caspase-2 (casp2) activity have been suggested to contribute to the pathogenesis of HD, however unique casp2 cleavage substrates have(More)