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Lu, B., Al-Ramahi, I., Valencia, A., Wang, Q., Berenshteyn, F., Yang, H., Gallego-Flores, T., Ichcho, S., Lacoste, A., Hild, M., Difiglia, M., Botas, J., Palacino, J. (2013). Identification of NUB1 as a suppressor of mutant Huntingtin toxicity via enhanced protein clearance.  Nat. Neurosci. 16(5): 562--570.
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Huntington's disease is caused by expanded CAG repeats in HTT, conferring toxic gain of function on mutant HTT (mHTT) protein. Reducing mHTT amounts is postulated as a strategy for therapeutic intervention. We conducted genome-wide RNA interference screens for genes modifying mHTT abundance and identified 13 hits. We tested 10 in vivo in a Drosophila melanogaster Huntington's disease model, and 6 exhibited activity consistent with the in vitro screening results. Among these, negative regulator of ubiquitin-like protein 1 (NUB1) overexpression lowered mHTT in neuronal models and rescued mHTT-induced death. NUB1 reduces mHTT amounts by enhancing polyubiquitination and proteasomal degradation of mHTT protein. The process requires CUL3 and the ubiquitin-like protein NEDD8 necessary for CUL3 activation. As a potential approach to modulating NUB1 for treatment, interferon-β lowered mHTT and rescued neuronal toxicity through induction of NUB1. Thus, we have identified genes modifying endogenous mHTT using high-throughput screening and demonstrate NUB1 as an exemplar entry point for therapeutic intervention of Huntington's disease.

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    Nat. Neurosci.
    Nature Neuroscience
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    Alleles (10)
    Genes (11)
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    Natural transposons (1)
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