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Publication Detail
Targeting the proteostasis network in Huntington's disease.
Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disorder caused by a polyglutamine expansion mutation in the huntingtin protein. Expansions above 40 polyglutamine repeats are invariably fatal, following a symptomatic period characterised by choreiform movements, behavioural abnormalities, and cognitive decline. While mutant huntingtin (mHtt) is widely expressed from early life, most patients with HD present in mid-adulthood, highlighting the role of ageing in disease pathogenesis. mHtt undergoes proteolytic cleavage, misfolding, accumulation, and aggregation into inclusion bodies. The emerging model of HD pathogenesis proposes that the chronic production of misfolded mHtt overwhelms the chaperone machinery, diverting other misfolded clients to the proteasome and the autophagy pathways, ultimately leading to a global collapse of the proteostasis network. Multiple converging hypotheses also implicate ageing and its impact in the dysfunction of organelles as additional contributing factors to the collapse of proteostasis in HD. In particular, mitochondrial function is required to sustain the activity of ATP-dependent chaperones and proteolytic machinery. Recent studies elucidating mitochondria-endoplasmic reticulum interactions and uncovering a dedicated proteostasis machinery in mitochondria, suggest that mitochondria play a more active role in the maintenance of cellular proteostasis than previously thought. The enhancement of cytosolic proteostasis pathways shows promise for HD treatment, protecting cells from the detrimental effects of mHtt accumulation. In this review, we consider how mHtt and its post translational modifications interfere with protein quality control pathways, and how the pharmacological and genetic modulation of components of the proteostasis network impact disease phenotypes in cellular and in vivo HD models.
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