Aggregation of scaffolding protein DiSC1 dysregulates phosphodiesterase 4 in Huntington's disease

Motomasa Tanaka, Koko Ishizuka, Yoko Nekooki-Machida, Ryo Endo, Noriko Takashima, Hideyuki Sasaki, Yusuke Komi, Amy Gathercole, Elaine Huston, Kazuhiro Ishii, Kelvin Kai Wan Hui, Masaru Kurosawa, Sun Hong Kim, Nobuyuki Nukina, Eiki Takimoto, Miles D. Houslay, Akira Sawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations

Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is a polyglutamine (polyQ) disease caused by aberrant expansion of the polyQ tract in Huntingtin (HTT). While motor impairment mediated by polyQ-expanded HTT has been intensively studied, molecular mechanisms for nonmotor symptoms in HD, such as psychiatric manifestations, remain elusive. Here we have demonstrated that HTT forms a ternary protein complex with the scaffolding protein DiSC1 and cAMP-degrading phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE4) to regulate PDE4 activity. We observed pathological cross-seeding between DiSC1 and mutant HTT aggregates in the brains of HD patients as well as in a murine model that recapitulates the polyQ pathology of HD (R6/2 mice). In R6/2 mice, consequent reductions in soluble DiSC1 led to dysregulation of DiSC1-PDE4 complexes, aberrantly increasing the activity of PDE4. Importantly, exogenous expression of a modified DiSC1, which binds to PDE4 but not mutant HTT, normalized PDE4 activity and ameliorated anhedonia in the R6/2 mice. We propose that cross-seeding of mutant HTT and DiSC1 and the resultant changes in PDE4 activity may underlie the pathology of a specific subset of mental manifestations of HD, which may provide an insight into molecular signaling in mental illness in general.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1438-1450
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume127
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2017
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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