Scott Q. Harper

Learn More
The transcription factor REST silences neuronal gene expression in non-neuronal cells. In neurons, the protein is sequestered in the cytoplasm in part through binding to huntingtin. Polyglutamine expansions in huntingtin, which causes Huntington's disease (HD), abrogates REST-huntingtin binding. Consequently, REST translocates to the nucleus, occupies RE1(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal, dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine repeat expansion in exon 1 of the HD gene, which encodes the huntingtin protein. We and others have shown that RNAi is a candidate therapy for HD because expression of inhibitory RNAs targeting mutant human HD transgenes improved neuropathology and behavioral(More)
The dominant polyglutamine expansion diseases, which include spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) and Huntington disease, are progressive, untreatable, neurodegenerative disorders. In inducible mouse models of SCA1 and Huntington disease, repression of mutant allele expression improves disease phenotypes. Thus, therapies designed to inhibit expression of(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal, dominant neurogenetic disorder. HD results from polyglutamine repeat expansion (CAG codon, Q) in exon 1 of HD, conferring a toxic gain of function on the protein huntingtin (htt). Currently, no preventative treatment exists for HD. RNA interference (RNAi) has emerged as a potential therapeutic tool for treating dominant(More)
OBJECTIVE Facioscapulohumeral muscular dystrophy (FSHD) is associated with D4Z4 repeat contraction on human chromosome 4q35. This genetic lesion does not result in complete loss or mutation of any gene. Consequently, the pathogenic mechanisms underlying FSHD have been difficult to discern. In leading FSHD pathogenesis models, D4Z4 contractions are proposed(More)
Huntington's disease (HD) and other polyglutamine (polyQ) neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by neuronal accumulation of the disease protein, suggesting that the cellular ability to handle abnormal proteins is compromised. As both a cochaperone and ubiquitin ligase, the C-terminal Hsp70 (heat shock protein 70)-interacting protein (CHIP) links the(More)
Attempts to develop gene therapy for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) have been complicated by the enormous size of the dystrophin gene. We have performed a detailed functional analysis of dystrophin structural domains and show that multiple regions of the protein can be deleted in various combinations to generate highly functional mini- and(More)
Clathrin-coated vesicles (CCVs) are responsible for the endocytosis of multiple cargo, including synaptic vesicle membranes. We now describe a new CCV protein, termed connecdenn, that contains an N-terminal DENN (differentially expressed in neoplastic versus normal cells) domain, a poorly characterized protein module found in multiple proteins of unrelated(More)
Vectors based on recombinant adeno-associated viruses (rAAV) have emerged as tools of choice for gene transfer to skeletal muscle. rAAV vectors demonstrate efficient, safe, and stable transduction. Multiple serotypes of AAV exist, but vectors based on serotype 2 (rAAV2) are the most thoroughly characterized and frequently employed. Here, we characterize(More)
Muscular dystrophies, and other diseases of muscle, arise from recessive and dominant gene mutations. Gene replacement strategies may be beneficial for the former, while gene silencing approaches may provide treatment for the latter. In the last two decades, muscle-directed gene therapies were primarily focused on treating recessive disorders. This(More)