Publication date: May 13, 2019
“We are excited about this result because it may explain why the patient gets the in this area of the brain called the striatum,” said Srinivasa Subramaniam, Department of at Scripps Research- According to the study, a toxic protein linked to can move from neuron to neuron through a nanotube tunnel whose construction is initiated by a protein called Rhes.
People with inherit a damaged protein that is somehow complicit in destroying brain cells.
For this study, Subramaniam and colleague Manish Sharma, the of the study, looked at mouse neurons under a confocal microscope and saw that the cells formed sticky, string-like protrusions around 150 microns long which floated above the cells, connecting them.
They inserted the protein into the mouse brain cells, tagged it with fluorescence and then watched as it crossed over and crawled up to enter the neighbouring cell.
The Rhes protein exists in both mouse and human brains sick with Huntington’s disease.
In a 2009 study, Subramaniam found that Rhes also alters the protein’s structure making it more toxic to brain cells.
Subramaniam’s group continues to investigate what other proteins may be helping with tunnel construction and if other disease proteins move along these membranous highways.
- Nanotubes enable travel of Huntington’s protein
- Rhes travels from cell to cell and transports Huntington disease protein via TNT-like protrusion.
- Hdac4 interactions in Huntington’s Disease viewed through the prism of multiomics