Cookies on this website
We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Continue' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Huntington's disease (HD) is a devastating disorder that affects approximately 1 in 10,000 people and is accompanied by neuronal dysfunction and neurodegeneration. HD manifests as a progressive chorea, a decline in mental abilities accompanied by behavioural, emotional and psychiatric problems followed by, dementia, and ultimately, death. The molecular pathology of HD is complex but includes widespread transcriptional dysregulation. Although many transcriptional regulatory molecules have been implicated in the pathogenesis of HD, a growing body of evidence points to the pivotal role of RE1 Silencing Transcription Factor (REST). In HD, REST, translocates from the cytoplasm to the nucleus in neurons resulting in repression of key target genes such as BDNF. Since these original observations, several thousand direct target genes of REST have been identified, including numerous non-coding RNAs including both microRNAs and long non-coding RNAs, several of which are dysregulated in HD. More recently, evidence is emerging that hints at epigenetic abnormalities in HD brain. This in turn, promotes the notion that targeting the epigenetic machinery may be a useful strategy for treatment of some aspects of HD. REST also recruits a host of histone and chromatin modifying activities that can regulate the local epigenetic signature at REST target genes. Collectively, these observations present REST as a hub that coordinates transcriptional, posttranscriptional and epigenetic programmes, many of which are disrupted in HD. We identify several spokes emanating from this REST hub that may represent useful sites to redress REST dysfunction in HD.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.nbd.2010.02.003

Type

Journal article

Journal

Neurobiol Dis

Publication Date

07/2010

Volume

39

Pages

28 - 39

Keywords

Animals, Epigenesis, Genetic, Gene Expression Profiling, Humans, Huntington Disease, RNA Interference, Repressor Proteins