Activation of mTOR Signaling by Mutant Huntingtin Exacerbates Huntington’s Disease

A new study published October 28 in Science Signaling online provides new insight on how mutant huntingtin (Htt) causes Huntington’s disease (HD). The study, led by Srinivasa Subramaniam and colleagues from the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, Florida, identifies a direct link between Htt and the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (MTORc1). In a mouse model of HD, activation of mTOR signaling in the striatum accelerates disease onset and exacerbates the behavioral abnormalities of the mutant mice. Interestingly,whether these findings translate to other neurodegenerative diseases is yet to be determined, since mTOR signaling has been shown to play a protective role in ALS (see October 2013 news story). Click here to read more about this potential new therapeutic target for HD.

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