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Gene Review

htt  -  huntingtin

Drosophila melanogaster

Synonyms: CG9995, DmHtt, Dmel\CG9995, HD, HTT, ...
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Disease relevance of htt


High impact information on htt


Biological context of htt

  • Analysis of the genomic and cDNA sequences indicates that Drosophila HD has 29 exons, compared with the 67 exons present in vertebrate HD genes, and that Drosophila huntingtin lacks the polyglutamine and polyproline stretches present in its mammalian counterparts [8].
  • Previously, we showed that rapamycin, an autophagy inducer, enhances mutant huntingtin fragment clearance and attenuated toxicity [2].
  • Mutant huntingtin forms aggregates in striatum and cortex, where extensive cell death occurs [9].
  • The methylation and ethylation interference patterns with the ftz (NTD) HD, in which the first six amino acids of the homeodomain were deleted, were extensively altered relative to the ftz HD patterns [10].

Anatomical context of htt

  • Whereas expression of Htt-Q0 has no discernible effect on behavior, lifespan, or neuronal morphology, pan-neuronal expression of Htt-Q128 leads to progressive loss of motor coordination, decreased lifespan, and time-dependent formation of huntingtin aggregates specifically in the cytoplasm and neurites [3].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of htt

  • We have developed and tested suppressor polypeptides that bind mutant Htt and interfere with the process of aggregation in cell culture [4].


  1. Suppression of Huntington's disease pathology in Drosophila by human single-chain Fv antibodies. Wolfgang, W.J., Miller, T.W., Webster, J.M., Huston, J.S., Thompson, L.M., Marsh, J.L., Messer, A. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2005) [Pubmed]
  2. Rapamycin alleviates toxicity of different aggregate-prone proteins. Berger, Z., Ravikumar, B., Menzies, F.M., Oroz, L.G., Underwood, B.R., Pangalos, M.N., Schmitt, I., Wullner, U., Evert, B.O., O'Kane, C.J., Rubinsztein, D.C. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. Cytoplasmic aggregates trap polyglutamine-containing proteins and block axonal transport in a Drosophila model of Huntington's disease. Lee, W.C., Yoshihara, M., Littleton, J.T. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2004) [Pubmed]
  4. A bivalent Huntingtin binding peptide suppresses polyglutamine aggregation and pathogenesis in Drosophila. Kazantsev, A., Walker, H.A., Slepko, N., Bear, J.E., Preisinger, E., Steffan, J.S., Zhu, Y.Z., Gertler, F.B., Housman, D.E., Marsh, J.L., Thompson, L.M. Nat. Genet. (2002) [Pubmed]
  5. Histone deacetylase inhibitors arrest polyglutamine-dependent neurodegeneration in Drosophila. Steffan, J.S., Bodai, L., Pallos, J., Poelman, M., McCampbell, A., Apostol, B.L., Kazantsev, A., Schmidt, E., Zhu, Y.Z., Greenwald, M., Kurokawa, R., Housman, D.E., Jackson, G.R., Marsh, J.L., Thompson, L.M. Nature (2001) [Pubmed]
  6. Disruption of axonal transport by loss of huntingtin or expression of pathogenic polyQ proteins in Drosophila. Gunawardena, S., Her, L.S., Brusch, R.G., Laymon, R.A., Niesman, I.R., Gordesky-Gold, B., Sintasath, L., Bonini, N.M., Goldstein, L.S. Neuron (2003) [Pubmed]
  7. Distamycin-induced inhibition of homeodomain-DNA complexes. Dorn, A., Affolter, M., Müller, M., Gehring, W.J., Leupin, W. EMBO J. (1992) [Pubmed]
  8. A putative Drosophila homolog of the Huntington's disease gene. Li, Z., Karlovich, C.A., Fish, M.P., Scott, M.P., Myers, R.M. Hum. Mol. Genet. (1999) [Pubmed]
  9. Inactivation of Drosophila Apaf-1 related killer suppresses formation of polyglutamine aggregates and blocks polyglutamine pathogenesis. Sang, T.K., Li, C., Liu, W., Rodriguez, A., Abrams, J.M., Zipursky, S.L., Jackson, G.R. Hum. Mol. Genet. (2005) [Pubmed]
  10. The interaction with DNA of wild-type and mutant fushi tarazu homeodomains. Percival-Smith, A., Müller, M., Affolter, M., Gehring, W.J. EMBO J. (1990) [Pubmed]
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