, a bio/informatics shared resource is still "open for business" - Visit the CDS website
Huntington's disease (HD) is a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CAG repeat within the Huntingtin (HTT) gene, though the clinical presentation of disease and age-of-onset are strongly influenced by ill-defined environmental factors. We recently reported a gene-environment interaction wherein expression of mutant HTT is associated with neuroprotection against manganese (Mn) toxicity. Here, we are testing the hypothesis that this interaction may be manifested by altered protein expression patterns in striatum, a primary target of both neurodegeneration in HD and neurotoxicity of Mn. To this end, we compared striatal proteomes of wild-type and HD (YAC128Q) mice exposed to vehicle or Mn. Principal component analysis of proteomic data revealed that Mn exposure disrupted a segregation of WT versus mutant proteomes by the major principal component observed in vehicle-exposed mice. Identification of altered proteins revealed novel markers of Mn toxicity, particularly proteins involved in glycolysis, excitotoxicity, and cytoskeletal dynamics. In addition, YAC128Q-dependent changes suggest that axonal pathology may be an early feature in HD pathogenesis. Finally, for several proteins, genotype-specific responses to Mn were observed. These differences include increased sensitivity to exposure in YAC128Q mice (UBQLN1) and amelioration of some mutant HTT-induced alterations (SAE1, ENO1). We conclude that the interaction of Mn and mutant HTT may suppress proteomic phenotypes of YAC128Q mice, which could reveal potential targets in novel treatment strategies for HD.