Polyglutamine (polyQ) stretches exceeding a threshold length confer a toxic function to proteins that contain them and cause at least nine neurological disorders. The basis for this toxicity threshold is unclear. Although polyQ expansions render proteins prone to aggregate into inclusion bodies, this may be a neuronal coping response to more toxic forms of… (More)
Huntington disease is a genetic neurodegenerative disorder that arises from an expanded polyglutamine region in the N terminus of the HD gene product, huntingtin. Protein inclusions comprised of N-terminal fragments of mutant huntingtin are a characteristic feature of disease, though are likely to play a protective role rather than a causative one in… (More)
Huntington disease results from an expanded polyglutamine region in the N terminus of the huntingtin protein. HD pathology is characterized by neuronal degeneration and protein inclusions containing N-terminal fragments of mutant huntingtin. Structural information is minimal, though it is believed that mutant huntingtin polyglutamine adopts β structure upon… (More)
Diversity-generating retroelements (DGRs) recognize novel ligands through massive protein sequence variation, a property shared uniquely with the adaptive immune response. Little is known about how recognition is achieved by DGR variable proteins. Here, we present the structure of the Bordetella bacteriophage DGR variable protein major tropism determinant… (More)
While polyglutamine repeats appear in dozens of human proteins, high-resolution structural analysis of these repeats in their native context has eluded researchers. Kim et al. now describe multiple crystal structures and demonstrate that polyglutamine in huntingtin dances through multiple conformations.