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Huntingtin is a 350-kilodalton protein of unknown function that is mutated in Huntington's disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder. The mutant protein is presumed to acquire a toxic gain of function that is detrimental to striatal neurons in the brain. However, loss of a beneficial activity of wild-type huntingtin may also cause the death of striatal(More)
Huntingtin protein is mutated in Huntington disease. We previously reported that wild-type but not mutant huntingtin stimulates transcription of the gene encoding brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF; ref. 2). Here we show that the neuron restrictive silencer element (NRSE) is the target of wild-type huntingtin activity on BDNF promoter II. Wild-type(More)
An expanded CAG repeat is the underlying genetic defect in Huntington disease, a disorder characterized by motor, psychiatric and cognitive deficits and striatal atrophy associated with neuronal loss. An accurate animal model of this disease is crucial for elucidation of the underlying natural history of the illness and also for testing experimental(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by an unstable CAG repeat. For patients at risk, participating in predictive testing and learning of having CAG expansion, a major unanswered question shifts from "Will I get HD?" to "When will it manifest?" Using the largest cohort of HD patients analyzed to date (2913 individuals from 40(More)
We have produced yeast artificial chromosome (YAC) transgenic mice expressing normal (YAC18) and mutant (YAC46 and YAC72) huntingtin (htt) in a developmental and tissue-specific manner identical to that observed in Huntington's disease (HD). YAC46 and YAC72 mice show early electrophysiological abnormalities, indicating cytoplasmic dysfunction prior to(More)
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)
N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor (NMDAR) excitotoxicity is implicated in the pathogenesis of Huntington's disease (HD), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder. However, NMDARs are poor therapeutic targets, due to their essential physiological role. Recent studies demonstrate that synaptic NMDAR transmission drives neuroprotective gene transcription, whereas(More)
Huntington disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant disorder in which degeneration of medium-sized spiny striatal neurons occurs. The HD gene and the protein it encodes, huntingtin, have been identified but their functions remain unknown. Transgenic mouse models for HD have been developed and we examined responses of medium-sized striatal neurons recorded in(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 2 (ALS2) is an autosomal recessive form of juvenile ALS and has been mapped to human chromosome 2q33. Here we report the identification of two independent deletion mutations linked to ALS2 in the coding exons of the new gene ALS2. These deletion mutations result in frameshifts that generate premature stop codons. ALS2 is(More)
OBJECTIVE The objective of the Predict-HD study is to use genetic, neurobiological and refined clinical markers to understand the early progression of Huntington's disease (HD), prior to the point of traditional diagnosis, in persons with a known gene mutation. Here we estimate the approximate onset and initial course of various measurable aspects of HD(More)