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Mutant Huntingtin Protein Interaction Map Implicates Dysregulation of Multiple Cellular Pathways in Neurodegeneration of Huntington’s Disease

J Huntingtons Dis. 2022 Jul 15. doi: 10.3233/JHD-220538. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Huntington’s disease (HD) is a genetic neurodegenerative disease caused by trinucleotide repeat (CAG) expansions in the human HTT gene encoding the huntingtin protein (Htt) with an expanded polyglutamine tract.

OBJECTIVE: HD models from yeast to transgenic mice have investigated proteins interacting with mutant Htt that may initiate molecular pathways of cell death. There is a paucity of datasets of published Htt protein interactions that include the criteria of 1) defining fragments or full-length Htt forms, 2) indicating the number of poly-glutamines of the mutant and wild-type Htt forms, and 3) evaluating native Htt interaction complexes. This research evaluated such interactor data to gain understanding of Htt dysregulation of cellular pathways.

METHODS: Htt interacting proteins were compiled from the literature that meet our criteria and were subjected to network analysis via clustering, gene ontology, and KEGG pathways using rigorous statistical methods.

RESULTS: The compiled data of Htt interactors found that both mutant and wild-type Htt interact with more than 2,971 proteins. Application of a community detection algorithm to all known Htt interactors identified significant signal transduction, membrane trafficking, chromatin, and mitochondrial clusters, among others. Binomial analyses of a subset of reported protein interactor information determined that chromatin organization, signal transduction and endocytosis were diminished, while mitochondria, translation and membrane trafficking had enriched overall edge effects.

CONCLUSION: The data support the hypothesis that mutant Htt disrupts multiple cellular processes causing toxicity. This dataset is an open resource to aid researchers in formulating hypotheses of HD mechanisms of pathogenesis.

PMID:35871359 | DOI:10.3233/JHD-220538

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