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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Phosphorylation of arfaptin 2 at Ser260 by Akt Inhibits PolyQ-huntingtin-induced toxicity by rescuing proteasome impairment.

Huntington disease (HD) is caused by an abnormal expanded polyglutamine repeat in the huntingtin protein. Insulin-like growth factor-1 is of particular interest in HD because it strongly inhibits polyQ-huntingtin-induced neurotoxicity. This neuroprotective effect involves the phosphorylation of huntingtin at Ser(421) by the prosurvival kinase Akt (Humbert, S., Bryson, E. A., Cordelieres, F. P., Connors, N. C., Datta, S. R., Finkbeiner, S., Greenberg, M. E., and Saudou, F. (2002) Dev. Cell 2, 831-837). Here, we report that Akt inhibits polyQ-huntingtin-induced toxicity in the absence of phosphorylation of huntingtin at Ser(421), suggesting that Akt also acts on other downstream effector(s) to prevent neuronal death in HD. We show that this survival effect involves the ADP-ribosylation factor-interacting protein arfaptin 2, the levels of which are increased in HD patients. Akt phosphorylated arfaptin 2 at Ser(260). Lack of phosphorylation of arfaptin 2 at this site substantially modified its subcellular distribution and increased neuronal death and intranuclear inclusions caused by polyQ-huntingtin. In contrast, arfaptin 2 had a neuroprotective effect on striatal neurons when phosphorylated by Akt. This effect is mediated through the proteasome, as phosphorylated arfaptin 2 inhibited the blockade of the proteasome induced by polyQ-huntingtin. This study points out a new mechanism by which Akt promotes neuroprotection in HD, emphasizing the potential therapeutic interest of this pathway in the disease.[1]


  1. Phosphorylation of arfaptin 2 at Ser260 by Akt Inhibits PolyQ-huntingtin-induced toxicity by rescuing proteasome impairment. Rangone, H., Pardo, R., Colin, E., Girault, J.A., Saudou, F., Humbert, S. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
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