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A genetic modifier suggests that endurance exercise exacerbates Huntington's disease

Corrochano, S; Blanco, G; Williams, D; Wettstein, J; Simon, M; Kumar, S; Moir, L; ... Acevedo-Arozena, A; + view all (2018) A genetic modifier suggests that endurance exercise exacerbates Huntington's disease. Human Molecular Genetics , 27 (10) pp. 1723-1731. 10.1093/hmg/ddy077. Green open access

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Abstract

Polyglutamine expansions in the huntingtin gene cause Huntington's disease (HD). Huntingtin is ubiquitously expressed, leading to pathological alterations also in peripheral organs. Variations in the length of the polyglutamine tract explain up to 70% of the age-at-onset variance, with the rest of the variance attributed to genetic and environmental modifiers. To identify novel disease modifiers, we performed an unbiased mutagenesis screen on an HD mouse model, identifying a mutation in the skeletal muscle voltage-gated sodium channel (Scn4a, termed 'draggen' mutation) as a novel disease enhancer. Double mutant mice (HD;Scn4aDgn/+) had decreased survival, weight loss and muscle atrophy. Expression patterns show that the main tissue affected is skeletal muscle. Intriguingly, muscles from HD;Scn4aDgn/+ mice showed adaptive changes similar to those found in endurance exercise, including AMPK activation, fibre type switching and upregulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Therefore, we evaluated the effects of endurance training on HD mice. Crucially, this training regime also led to detrimental effects on HD mice. Overall, these results reveal a novel role for skeletal muscle in modulating systemic HD pathogenesis, suggesting that some forms of physical exercise could be deleterious in neurodegeneration.

Type: Article
Title: A genetic modifier suggests that endurance exercise exacerbates Huntington's disease
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1093/hmg/ddy077
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1093/hmg/ddy077
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2018. Published by Oxford University Press. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Cell and Developmental Biology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10045500
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