Striatal and cortical intranuclear inclusions and cytoplasmic aggregates of mutant huntingtin are prominent neuropathological hallmarks of Huntington's disease (HD). We demonstrated previously that transglutaminase 2 cross-links mutant huntingtin in cells in culture and demonstrated the presence of transglutaminase-catalyzed cross-links in the HD cortex that colocalize with transglutaminase 2 and huntingtin. Because calmodulin regulates transglutaminase activity in erythrocytes, platelets, and the gizzard, we hypothesized that calmodulin increases cross-linking of huntingtin in the HD brain. We found that calmodulin colocalizes at the confocal level with transglutaminase 2 and with huntingtin in HD intranuclear inclusions. Calmodulin coimmunoprecipitates with transglutaminase 2 and huntingtin in cells transfected with myc-tagged N-terminal huntingtin fragments containing 148 polyglutamine repeats (htt-N63-148Q-myc) and transglutaminase 2 but not in cells transfected with myc-tagged N-terminal huntingtin fragments containing 18 polyglutamine repeats. Our previous studies demonstrated that transfection with both htt-N63-148Q-myc and transglutaminase 2 resulted in cross-linking of mutant huntingtin protein fragments and the formation of insoluble high-molecular-weight aggregates of huntingtin protein fragments. Transfection with transglutaminase 2 and htt-N63-148Q-myc followed by treatment of cells with N-(6-aminohexyl)-1-naphthalenesulfonamide, a calmodulin inhibitor, resulted in a decrease in cross-linked huntingtin. Inhibiting the interaction of calmodulin with transglutaminase and huntingtin protein could decrease cross-linking and diminish huntingtin aggregate formation in the HD brain.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Journal of Neuroscience|
|State||Published - Feb 25 2004|
- Inclusion bodies
- Protein aggregation
ASJC Scopus subject areas