Polyglutamine tract expansion increases s-nitrosylation of huntingtin and Ataxin-1


Journal Article

© 2016 Ni et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Expansion of the polyglutamine (polyQ) tract in the huntingtin (Htt) protein causes Huntington's disease (HD), a fatal inherited movement disorder linked to neurodegeneration in the striatum and cortex. S-nitrosylation and S-acylation of cysteine residues regulate many functions of cytosolic proteins. We therefore used a resin-assisted capture approach to identify these modifications in Htt. In contrast to many proteins that have only a single S-nitrosylation or S-acylation site, we identified sites along much of the length of Htt. Moreover, analysis of cells expressing full-length Htt or a large N-terminal fragment of Htt shows that polyQ expansion strongly increases Htt S-nitrosylation. This effect appears to be general since it is also observed in Ataxin-1, which causes spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) when its polyQ tract is expanded. Overexpression of nitric oxide synthase increases the S-nitrosylation of normal Htt and the frequency of conspicuous juxtanuclear inclusions of Htt N-terminal fragments in transfected cells. Taken together with the evidence that S-nitrosylation of Htt is widespread and parallels polyQ expansion, these subcellular changes show that S-nitrosylation affects the biology of this protein in vivo.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Ni, CL; Seth, D; Fonseca, FV; Wang, L; Xiao, TS; Gruber, P; Sy, MS; Stamler, JS; Tartakoff, AM

Published Date

  • September 1, 2016

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 11 / 9

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1932-6203

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1371/journal.pone.0163359

Citation Source

  • Scopus