Researchers have revealed new clues to how a defective form of the huntingtin protein may cause the deadly changes that lead to Huntington's disease -- by potentially disrupting the process of neurogenesis, thereby decreasing neural progenitor cells.
Huntingtin protein
Image: Wikimedia commons,
Jawahar Swaminathan and MSD
staff at the European Bioinformatics Institute
"[This is] the first study to demonstrate that normal huntingtin has fundamental developmental roles in mitotic spindle function during development and in the process of neurogenesis," said linkurl:Mark Mehler,; a neurologist at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was not involved in the study. Mehler previously found that in Huntington's, and other neurodegenerative diseases, this kind of defect can lead to neuronal death later in life. In Huntington's disease, mutations in the huntingtin protein lead to progressively severe psychiatric, cognitive, and motor dysfunction through the death of brain cells. The research, published in Neuron on August 12...
Godin et al., "Huntingtin is required for mitotic spindle orientation and mammalian neurogenesis," Neuron 67, 392-406, 2010.

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