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Lipid Metabolism Enzyme in Huntington Disease


, : Lipid Metabolism Enzyme in Huntington Disease.

Huntington disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by a polyglutamine expansion in the protein huntingtin (Htt). Striatal and cortical neuronal loss are prominent features of this disease. No disease-modifying treatments have been discovered for HD. To identify new therapeutic targets in HD, we screened a kinase inhibitor library for molecules that block mutant Htt cellular toxicity in a mouse HD striatal cell model, Hdh111Q/111Q cells. We found that diacylglycerol kinase (DGK) inhibitor II (R59949) decreased caspase-3/7 activity after serum withdrawal in striatal Hdh111Q/111Q cells. In addition, R59949 decreased the accumulation of a 513-amino acid N-terminal Htt fragment processed by caspase-3 and blocked alterations in lipid metabolism during serum withdrawal. To identify the diacylglycerol kinase mediating this effect, we knocked down all four DGK isoforms expressed in the brain (?, ?, ?, and ?) using siRNA. Only the knockdown of the family member, DGK?, blocked striatal Hdh111Q/111Q-mediated toxicity. We also investigated the significance of these findings in vivo. First, we found that reduced function of the Drosophila DGK? homolog significantly improves Htt-induced motor dysfunction in a fly model of HD. In addition, we find that the levels of DGK? are increased in the striatum of R6/2 HD transgenic mice when compared with littermate controls. Together, these findings indicate that increased levels of kinase DGK? contribute to HD pathogenesis and suggest that reducing its levels or activity is a potential therapy for HD.

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