Uninterrupted CAG repeat drives striatum-selective transcriptionopathy and nuclear pathogenesis in human Huntingtin BAC mice

Academic Article


  • In Huntington's disease (HD), the uninterrupted CAG repeat length, but not the polyglutamine length, predicts disease onset. However, the underlying pathobiology remains unclear. Here, we developed bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgenic mice expressing human mutant huntingtin (mHTT) with uninterrupted, and somatically unstable, CAG repeats that exhibit progressive disease-related phenotypes. Unlike prior mHTT transgenic models with stable, CAA-interrupted, polyglutamine-encoding repeats, BAC-CAG mice show robust striatum-selective nuclear inclusions and transcriptional dysregulation resembling those in murine huntingtin knockin models and HD patients. Importantly, the striatal transcriptionopathy in HD models is significantly correlated with their uninterrupted CAG repeat length but not polyglutamine length. Finally, among the pathogenic entities originating from mHTT genomic transgenes and only present or enriched in the uninterrupted CAG repeat model, somatic CAG repeat instability and nuclear mHTT aggregation are best correlated with early-onset striatum-selective molecular pathogenesis and locomotor and sleep deficits, while repeat RNA-associated pathologies and repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation may play less selective or late pathogenic roles, respectively.
  • Authors

    Published In

  • Neuron  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Pubmed Id

  • 28393565
  • Author List

  • Gu X; Richman J; Langfelder P; Wang N; Zhang S; BaƱez-Coronel M; Wang HB; Yang L; Ramanathan L; Deng L
  • Start Page

  • 1173
  • End Page

  • 1192.e7
  • Volume

  • 110
  • Issue

  • 7