Huntington's Disease (HD) is one of several neurodegenerative diseases that affect millions of Americans. Many of these diseases are associated with transcriptional dysregulation. In the case of Huntington's disease, the relevance of this dysregulation to pathology has been demonstrated in Drosophila and mouse models of HD. HD is caused by an expanded poly- glutamine sequence in the huntingtin protein and several studies suggest that a proximal event in HD is the disruption of chromatin remodeling activities by the expanded polyQ protein. Chromatin therapy with Histone DeACetylase (HDAC) inhibitors is currently one of the most promising strategies being developed for the treatment of Huntington's disease (HD). These and other studies suggest that a more comprehensive approach to chromatin therapy based strategies may prove to be more beneficial. In this proposal, we will conduct a comprehensive analysis of the therapeutic potential of various chromatin-remodeling activities in an HD setting. These studies will help elucidate the mechanisms by which mutant Huntington affects cellular transcription and whether the therapeutic interventions are restorative or compensatory. .

Public Health Relevance

Many neurodegenerative diseases are characterized by disruptions in gene expression. Chromatin refers to the complex of DNA and proteins that control gene production, and the structure of this complex is disrupted in Huntington's Disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The goal of this project is to develop new therapies to restore chromatin disruptions to their pre-disease state for the treatment of Huntington's Disease.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
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Neural Oxidative Metabolism and Death Study Section (NOMD)
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Sutherland, Margaret L
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University of California Irvine
Anatomy/Cell Biology
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