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Gonzales, E.D., Tanenhaus, A.K., Zhang, J., Chaffee, R.P., Yin, J.C. (2016). Early-onset sleep defects in Drosophila models of Huntington's disease reflect alterations of PKA/CREB signaling.  Hum. Mol. Genet. 25(5): 837--852.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0231076
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

Huntington's disease (HD) is a progressive neurological disorder whose non-motor symptoms include sleep disturbances. Whether sleep and activity abnormalities are primary molecular disruptions of mutant Huntingtin (mutHtt) expression or result from neurodegeneration is unclear. Here, we report Drosophila models of HD exhibit sleep and activity disruptions very early in adulthood, as soon as sleep patterns have developed. Pan-neuronal expression of full-length or N-terminally truncated mutHtt recapitulates sleep phenotypes of HD patients: impaired sleep initiation, fragmented and diminished sleep, and nighttime hyperactivity. Sleep deprivation of HD model flies results in exacerbated sleep deficits, indicating that homeostatic regulation of sleep is impaired. Elevated PKA/CREB activity in healthy flies produces patterns of sleep and activity similar to those in our HD models. We were curious whether aberrations in PKA/CREB signaling were responsible for our early-onset sleep/activity phenotypes. Decreasing signaling through the cAMP/PKA pathway suppresses mutHtt-induced developmental lethality. Genetically reducing PKA abolishes sleep/activity deficits in HD model flies, restores the homeostatic response and extends median lifespan. In vivo reporters, however, show dCREB2 activity is unchanged, or decreased when sleep/activity patterns are abnormal, suggesting dissociation of PKA and dCREB2 occurs early in pathogenesis. Collectively, our data suggest that sleep defects may reflect a primary pathological process in HD, and that measurements of sleep and cAMP/PKA could be prodromal indicators of disease, and serve as therapeutic targets for intervention.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC4754039 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Hum. Mol. Genet.
    Title
    Human Molecular Genetics
    Publication Year
    1992-
    ISBN/ISSN
    0964-6906
    Data From Reference