Journal Article

Blocking acid-sensing ion channel 1 alleviates Huntington's disease pathology via an ubiquitin-proteasome system-dependent mechanism

Hon Kit Wong, Peter O. Bauer, Masaru Kurosawa, Anand Goswami, Chika Washizu, Yoko Machida, Asako Tosaki, Mizuki Yamada, Thomas Knöpfel, Takemichi Nakamura and Nobuyuki Nukina

in Human Molecular Genetics

Volume 17, issue 20, pages 3223-3235
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 0964-6906
Published online July 2008 | e-ISSN: 1460-2083 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddn218
Blocking acid-sensing ion channel 1 alleviates Huntington's disease pathology via an ubiquitin-proteasome system-dependent mechanism

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Huntington's disease (HD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder. Despite a tremendous effort to develop therapeutic tools in several HD models, there is no effective cure at present. Acidosis has been observed previously in cellular and in in vivo models as well as in the brains of HD patients. Here we challenged HD models with amiloride (Ami) derivative benzamil (Ben), a chemical agent used to rescue acid-sensing ion channel (ASIC)-dependent acidotoxicity, to examine whether chronic acidosis is an important part of the HD pathomechanism and whether these drugs could be used as novel therapeutic agents. Ben markedly reduced the huntingtin-polyglutamine (htt-polyQ) aggregation in an inducible cellular system, and the therapeutic value of Ben was successfully recapitulated in the R6/2 animal model of HD. To reveal the mechanism of action, Ben was found to be able to alleviate the inhibition of the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) activity, resulting in enhanced degradation of soluble htt-polyQ specifically in its pathological range. More importantly, we were able to demonstrate that blocking the expression of a specific isoform of ASIC (asic1a), one of the many molecular targets of Ben, led to an enhancement of UPS activity and this blockade also decreased htt-polyQ aggregation in the striatum of R6/2 mice. In conclusion, we believe that chemical compounds that target ASIC1a or pharmacological alleviation of UPS inhibition would be an effective and promising approach to combat HD and other polyQ-related disorders.

Journal Article.  7769 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Genetics and Genomics

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