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Huntington’s disease: the coming of age
- Pandey, Mritunjay, Rajamma, Usha
- Journal of genetics 2018 v.97 no.3 pp. 649-664
- brain, cell death, central nervous system diseases, death, diagnostic techniques, drugs, exons, fruit flies, gain-of-function mutation, ingredients, inheritance (genetics), models, monkeys, mutants, neurons, neuroprotective effect, pathogenicity, patients, proteins, therapeutics
- Huntington’s disease (HD) is caused due to an abnormal expansion of polyglutamine repeats in the first exon of huntingtin gene. The mutation in huntingtin causes abnormalities in the functioning of protein, leading to deleterious effects ultimately to the demise of specific neuronal cells. The disease is inherited in an autosomal dominant manner and leads to a plethora of neuropsychiatric behaviour and neuronal cell death mainly in striatal and cortical regions of the brain, eventually leading to death of the individual. The discovery of the mutant gene led to a surge in molecular diagnostics of the disease and in making different transgenic models in different organisms to understand the function of wild-type and mutant proteins. Despite difficult challenges, there has been a significant increase in understanding the functioning of the protein in normal and other gain-of-function interactions in mutant form. However, there have been no significant improvements in treatments of the patients suffering from this ailment and most of the treatment is still symptomatic. HD warrants more attention towards better understanding and treatment as more advancement in molecular diagnostics and therapeutic interventions are available. Several different transgenic models are available in different organisms, ranging from fruit flies to primate monkeys, for studies on understanding the pathogenicity of the mutant gene. It is the right time to assess the advancement in the field and try new strategies for neuroprotection using key pathways as target. The present review highlights the key ingredients of pathology in the HD and discusses important studies for drug trials and future goals for therapeutic interventions.