CHDI Meeting in Palm Springs – Tuesday: Huntingtin Structure Function and the htt Gene and Genome

Tuesday hosted the session most closely related to my current focus of HD research – huntingtin structural biology and structural insights into HD pathology.

Frederic Sandou presented some very interesting data from his EMBO publication regarding huntingtin proteolysis in cells. The C-terminal fragments generated by cutting huntingtin appear to be toxic to cells and this seems to be linked to its interaction with dynamin, a protein involved in transport processes within the cell.

Ihn Sik Seong’s presentation included a comprehensive analysis of huntingtin structure by a variety of different methodologies including electron microscopy (EM), cross-linking with mass spectrometry and circular dichroism. Some fairly low-ish resolution EM models how a hollow structure whilst other data indicates a definite interaction between the 2 ends of the protein. We are still a way off understanding the structure at high resolution though. HDBuzz took a great picture of the EM:

EM

The afternoon session of talks gave some great insights into huntingtin gene and genome research. In particular Ray Truant gave a very interesting talk of unpublished data regarding kinetin, a small molecule a bit like the constituent components of DNA (nucleotides), which has potential therapeutic opportunities in treating HD. It will be interesting to see how this work develops over the next year.

 

One thought on “CHDI Meeting in Palm Springs – Tuesday: Huntingtin Structure Function and the htt Gene and Genome

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