ANCHOR LEAD: UNDERSTANDING MORE ABOUT HOW HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE DEVELOPS POINTS TO NEW TARGETS FOR INTERVENTION, ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
A new protein that seems to be involved in Huntington’s disease has been identified by Srinivasa Subramaniam and colleagues at Johns Hopkins.
SUBRAMANIUM: We’ve discovered a protein called ‘rhes’ which is highly enriched in a brain area called the striatum. We think this protein is important in promoting Huntington’s disease. :12
The striatum is a brain area primarily involved in movement.
SUBRAMANIUM: In Huntington’s disease patients the striatum is highly affected. At the time of diagnosis fifty percent of the striatum is gone. The protein involved in this disease called mutant Huntington, affects only the striatum predominantly. Rhes, which is highly present in the striatum, talks to the Huntington protein and causing it more toxic. :21
Finding a way to modulate the protein Rhes is a logical target to interfere with the development of Huntington’s disease. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.