Research ArticleHuntington’s Disease

Astrocyte molecular signatures in Huntington’s disease

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Science Translational Medicine  16 Oct 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 514, eaaw8546
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaw8546

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A shared signature

Huntington’s disease is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by a dominant mutation in the HTT gene, resulting in production of mutant huntingtin protein (mHTT). Deletion of mHTT specifically from astrocytes slowed disease progression. Now, Diaz-Castro et al. determined astrocyte gene and protein expression in patients with HD and mouse models. They identified a core signature of 62 genes whose expression was altered by mHTT expression in mice and humans. The genes were associated with basic astrocytic functions. Lowering mHTT in a mouse model restored normal expression in 61 of the 62 genes. The results pave the way for the discovery of possible therapeutic targets for treating HD.

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