Analysis of the subcellular localization of huntingtin with a set of rabbit polyclonal antibodies in cultured mammalian cells of neuronal origin: Comparison with the distribution of huntingtin in Huntington's disease autopsy brain

J. C. Dorsman*, M. A. Smoor, M. L.C. Maat-Schieman, M. Bout, S. Siesling, S. G. Van Duinen, J. J.G.M. Verschuuren, J. T. Den Dunnen, R. A.C. Roos, G. J.B. Van Ommen

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder with a midlife onset. The disease is caused by expansion of a CAG (glutamine) repeat within the coding region of the HD gene. The molecular mechanism by which the mutated protein causes this disease is still unclear. To study the protein we have generated a set of rabbit polyclonal antibodies raised against different segments of the N-terminal, central and C-terminal parts of the protein. The polyclonal antibodies were affinity purified and characterized in ELISA and Western blotting experiments. All antibodies can react with mouse and human proteins. The specificity of these antibodies is underscored by their recognition of huntingtin with different repeat sizes in extracts prepared from patient-derived lymphoblasts. The antibodies were used in immunofluorescence experiments to study the subcellular localization of huntingtin in mouse neuroblastoma N1E-115 cells. The results indicate that most huntingtin is present in the cytoplasm, whereas a minor fraction is present in the nucleus. On differentiation of the N1E-115 cells in vitro, the subcellular distribution of huntingtin does not change significantly. These results suggest that full-length huntingtin with a normal repeat length can be detected in the nucleus of cycling and non-cycling cultured mammalian cells of neuronal origin. However, in HD autopsy brain the huntingtin-containing neuronal intranuclear inclusions can be detected only with antibodies raised against the N-terminus of huntingtin. Thus several forms of huntingtin display the propensity for nuclear localization, possibly with different functional consequences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1061-1067
    Number of pages7
    JournalPhilosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
    Volume354
    Issue number1386
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Jun 1999

    Keywords

    • Antibody characterization
    • Huntingtin
    • Huntington's disease
    • Neuronal differentiation
    • Subcellular localization

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