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      Exon 1 of the HD gene with an expanded CAG repeat is sufficient to cause a progressive neurological phenotype in transgenic mice.

      Cell

      Mice, Brain, pathology, Disease Models, Animal, Exons, genetics, Female, Humans, Huntington Disease, Male, Animals, Mice, Neurologic Mutants, Mice, Transgenic, Nerve Tissue Proteins, physiology, Nuclear Proteins, Phenotype, Spinal Cord, Transgenes, Trinucleotide Repeats

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          Abstract

          Huntington's disease (HD) is one of an increasing number of neurodegenerative disorders caused by a CAG/polyglutamine repeat expansion. Mice have been generated that are transgenic for the 5' end of the human HD gene carrying (CAG)115-(CAG)150 repeat expansions. In three lines, the transgene is ubiquitously expressed at both mRNA and protein level. Transgenic mice exhibit a progressive neurological phenotype that exhibits many of the features of HD, including choreiform-like movements, involuntary stereotypic movements, tremor, and epileptic seizures, as well as nonmovement disorder components. This transgenic model will greatly assist in an eventual understanding of the molecular pathology of HD and may open the way to the testing of intervention strategies.

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          Most cited references 18

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          Expansion of an unstable trinucleotide CAG repeat in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1.

          Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by neurodegeneration of the cerebellum, spinal cord and brainstem. A 1.2-Megabase stretch of DNA from the short arm of chromosome 6 containing the SCA1 locus was isolated in a yeast artificial chromosome contig and subcloned into cosmids. A highly polymorphic CAG repeat was identified in this region and was found to be unstable and expanded in individuals with SCA1. There is a direct correlation between the size of the (CAG)n repeat expansion and the age-of-onset of SCA1, with larger alleles occurring in juvenile cases. We also show that the repeat is present in a 10 kilobase mRNA transcript. SCA1 is therefore the fifth genetic disorder to display a mutational mechanism involving an unstable trinucleotide repeat.
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            Huntingtin is a cytoplasmic protein associated with vesicles in human and rat brain neurons.

            The gene defective in Huntington's disease encodes a protein, huntingtin, with unknown function. Antisera generated against three separate regions of huntingtin identified a single high molecular weight protein of approximately 320 kDa on immunoblots of human neuroblastoma extracts. The same protein species was detected in human and rat cortex synaptosomes and in sucrose density gradients of vesicle-enriched fractions, where huntingtin immunoreactivity overlapped with the distribution of vesicle membrane proteins (SV2, transferrin receptor, and synaptophysin). Immunohistochemistry in human and rat brain revealed widespread cytoplasmic labeling of huntingtin within neurons, particularly cell bodies and dendrites, rather than the more selective pattern of axon terminal labeling characteristic of many vesicle-associated proteins. At the ultrastructural level, immunoreactivity in cortical neurons was detected in the matrix of the cytoplasm and around the membranes of the vesicles. The ubiquitous cytoplasmic distribution of huntingtin in neurons and its association with vesicles suggest that huntingtin may have a role in vesicle trafficking.
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              Progressive proximal spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy of late onset. A sex-linked recessive trait.

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                Journal
                8898202

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