Journal Article

Polyglutamine diseases: emerging concepts in pathogenesis and therapy

Jieya Shao and Marc I. Diamond

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 16, issue R2, pages R115-R123
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online October 2007 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddm213
Polyglutamine diseases: emerging concepts in pathogenesis and therapy

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Polyglutamine diseases are a family of neurodegenerative conditions that each derive from a CAG triplet repeat expansion in a specific gene. This produces a pathogenic protein that contains a critically expanded tract of glutamines. These prototypical protein misfolding disorders include Huntington disease, spinobulbar muscular atrophy, dentatorubral-pallidoluysian atrophy and several spinocerebellar ataxias. This article reviews the emerging concepts in pathogenesis and therapy. Key ideas include the role of proteolytic cleavage, the importance of conformational change in the pathogenic proteins, the role of protein aggregation and the importance of transcriptional and metabolic disturbances. The relative role of functional perturbation in a target protein induced by a polyglutamine expansion is also discussed. Therapeutic strategies include counteracting cellular perturbations and direct targeting of polyglutamine protein expression, cleavage or conformation.

Journal Article.  5503 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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