Journal article

Tadpole-like conformations of huntingtin exon 1 with expanded polyglutamine engenders novel interactions in cells

Estella Newcombe, Kiersten Ruff, Ashish Sethi, Angelique Ormsby, Yasmin Ramdzan, Archa Fox, Anthony Purcell, Paul Gooley, Rohit Pappu, Danny Hatters

Published : 2017


ABSTRACT Soluble huntingtin exon 1 (Httex1) with expanded polyglutamine (polyQ) engenders neurotoxicity in Huntington’s disease. To uncover the physical basis of this toxicity, we performed structural studies of soluble Httex1 for wild type and mutant polyQ lengths. Nuclear magnetic resonance experiments show evidence for conformational rigidity across the polyQ region. In contrast, hydrogen-deuterium exchange shows absence of backbone amide protection, suggesting negligible persistence of hydrogen bonds. The seemingly conflicting results are explained by all-atom simulations, which show that Httex1 adopts tadpole-like structures with a globular head encompassing the N-terminal amphipathic a..

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