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Citation
Pearce, M.M., Spartz, E.J., Hong, W., Luo, L., Kopito, R.R. (2015). Prion-like transmission of neuronal huntingtin aggregates to phagocytic glia in the Drosophila brain.  Nat. Commun. 6(): 6768.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0228078
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

The brain has a limited capacity to self-protect against protein aggregate-associated pathology, and mounting evidence supports a role for phagocytic glia in this process. We have established a Drosophila model to investigate the role of phagocytic glia in clearance of neuronal mutant huntingtin (Htt) aggregates associated with Huntington disease. We find that glia regulate steady-state numbers of Htt aggregates expressed in neurons through a clearance mechanism that requires the glial scavenger receptor Draper and downstream phagocytic engulfment machinery. Remarkably, some of these engulfed neuronal Htt aggregates effect prion-like conversion of soluble, wild-type Htt in the glial cytoplasm. We provide genetic evidence that this conversion depends strictly on the Draper signalling pathway, unveiling a previously unanticipated role for phagocytosis in transfer of pathogenic protein aggregates in an intact brain. These results suggest a potential mechanism by which phagocytic glia contribute to both protein aggregate-related neuroprotection and pathogenesis in neurodegenerative disease.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC4515032 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Nat. Commun.
    Title
    Nature communications
    ISBN/ISSN
    2041-1723
    Data From Reference