Huntington's Disease (HD) is a dominantly inherited pathology caused by the accumulation of mutant huntingtin protein (HTT) containing an expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) tract. As the polyglutamine binding peptide 1 (QBP1) is known to bind an expanded polyQ tract but not the polyQ motif found in normal HTT, we selectively targeted mutant HTT for degradation by expressing a fusion molecule comprising two copies of QBP1 and copies of two different heat shock cognate protein 70 (HSC70)-binding motifs in cellular and mouse models of HD. Chaperone-mediated autophagy contributed to the specific degradation of mutant HTT in cultured cells expressing the construct. Intrastriatal delivery of a virus expressing the fusion molecule ameliorated the disease phenotype in the R6/2 mouse model of HD. Similar adaptor molecules comprising HSC70-binding motifs fused to an appropriate structure-specific binding agent(s) may have therapeutic potential for treating diseases caused by misfolded proteins other than those with expanded polyQ tracts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
- Molecular Medicine
- Biomedical Engineering