CHDI Foundation CHDI Management Inc.

Los Angeles, CA, United States

CHDI Foundation CHDI Management Inc.

Los Angeles, CA, United States
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Li M.M.H.,Rockefeller University | Lau Z.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Cheung P.,Mount Sinai School of Medicine | Aguilar E.G.,Rockefeller University | And 9 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2017

The host factor and interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene (ISG) product, zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP), inhibits a number of diverse viruses by usurping and intersecting with multiple cellular pathways. To elucidate its antiviral mechanism, we perform a loss-of-function genome-wide RNAi screen to identify cellular cofactors required for ZAP antiviral activity against the prototype alphavirus, Sindbis virus (SINV). In order to exclude off-target effects, we carry out stringent confirmatory assays to verify the top hits. Important ZAP-liaising partners identified include proteins involved in membrane ion permeability, type I IFN signaling, and post-translational protein modification. The factor contributing most to the antiviral function of ZAP is TRIM25, an E3 ubiquitin and ISG15 ligase. We demonstrate here that TRIM25 interacts with ZAP through the SPRY domain, and TRIM25 mutants lacking the RING or coiled coil domain fail to stimulate ZAP’s antiviral activity, suggesting that both TRIM25 ligase activity and its ability to form oligomers are critical for its cofactor function. TRIM25 increases the modification of both the short and long ZAP isoforms by K48- and K63-linked polyubiquitin, although ubiquitination of ZAP does not directly affect its antiviral activity. However, TRIM25 is critical for ZAP’s ability to inhibit translation of the incoming SINV genome. Taken together, these data uncover TRIM25 as a bona fide ZAP cofactor that leads to increased ZAP modification enhancing its translational inhibition activity. © 2017 Public Library of Science. All Rights Reserved.


Fazio P.,Karolinska Institutet | Schain M.,Karolinska Institutet | Mrzljak L.,CHDI Foundation CHDI Management Inc. | Amini N.,Karolinska Institutet | And 8 more authors.
NeuroImage | Year: 2017

Phosphodiesterase 10A enzyme (PDE10A) is an important striatal target that has been shown to be affected in patients with neurodegenerative disorders, particularly Huntington´s disease (HD). PDE10A is expressed on striatal neurones in basal ganglia where other known molecular targets are enriched such as dopamine D2/3 receptors (D2/3 R). The aim of this study was to examine the availability of PDE10A enzyme in relation with age and gender and to compare those changes with those related to D2/3 R and volumes in different regions of the basal ganglia. As a secondary objective we examined the relative distribution of D2/3 R and PDE10A enzyme in the striatum and globus pallidus. Forty control subjects (20F/20M; age: 44±11y, age range 27–69) from an ongoing positron emission tomography (PET) study in HD gene expansion carriers were included. Subjects were examined with PET using the high-resolution research tomograph (HRRT) and with 3T magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The PDE10A radioligand 18F-MNI-659 and D2/3 R radioligand 11C-raclopride were used. The outcome measure was the binding potential (BPND) estimated with the two-tissue compartment model (18F-MNI-659) and the simplified reference tissue model (11C-raclopride) using the cerebellum as reference region. The PET data were corrected for partial volume effects. In the striatum, PDE10A availability showed a significant age-related decline that was larger compared to the age-related decline of D2/3 R availability and to the age-related decline of volumes measured with MRI. In the globus pallidus, a less pronounced decline of PDE10A availability was observed, whereas D2/3 R availability and volumes seemed to be rather stable with aging. The distribution of the PDE10A enzyme was different from the distribution of D2/3 R, with higher availability in the globus pallidus. These results indicate that aging is associated with a considerable physiological reduction of the availability of PDE10A enzyme in the striatum. Moreover as result of the analysis, in the striatum for both the molecular targets, we observed a gender effect with higher BPND the female group. © 2017 Elsevier Inc.


Langfelder P.,University of California at Los Angeles | Cantle J.P.,University of California at Los Angeles | Chatzopoulou D.,University of California at Los Angeles | Wang N.,University of California at Los Angeles | And 21 more authors.
Nature Neuroscience | Year: 2016

To gain insight into how mutant huntingtin (mHtt) CAG repeat length modifies Huntington's disease (HD) pathogenesis, we profiled mRNA in over 600 brain and peripheral tissue samples from HD knock-in mice with increasing CAG repeat lengths. We found repeat length-dependent transcriptional signatures to be prominent in the striatum, less so in cortex, and minimal in the liver. Coexpression network analyses revealed 13 striatal and 5 cortical modules that correlated highly with CAG length and age, and that were preserved in HD models and sometimes in patients. Top striatal modules implicated mHtt CAG length and age in graded impairment in the expression of identity genes for striatal medium spiny neurons and in dysregulation of cyclic AMP signaling, cell death and protocadherin genes. We used proteomics to confirm 790 genes and 5 striatal modules with CAG length-dependent dysregulation at the protein level, and validated 22 striatal module genes as modifiers of mHtt toxicities in vivo. © 2016 Nature America, Inc.


Lu X.-H.,University of California at Los Angeles | Mattis V.B.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Wang N.,University of California at Los Angeles | Al-Ramahi I.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 18 more authors.
Science translational medicine | Year: 2014

Age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease (HD) consistently show elevated DNA damage, but the relevant molecular pathways in disease pathogenesis remain unclear. One attractive gene is that encoding the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein, a kinase involved in the DNA damage response, apoptosis, and cellular homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in both alleles of ATM cause ataxia-telangiectasia in children, but heterozygous mutation carriers are disease-free. Persistently elevated ATM signaling has been demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease and in mouse models of other neurodegenerative diseases. We show that ATM signaling was consistently elevated in cells derived from HD mice and in brain tissue from HD mice and patients. ATM knockdown protected from toxicities induced by mutant Huntingtin (mHTT) fragments in mammalian cells and in transgenic Drosophila models. By crossing the murine Atm heterozygous null allele onto BACHD mice expressing full-length human mHTT, we show that genetic reduction of Atm gene dosage by one copy ameliorated multiple behavioral deficits and partially improved neuropathology. Small-molecule ATM inhibitors reduced mHTT-induced death of rat striatal neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells derived from HD patients. Our study provides converging genetic and pharmacological evidence that reduction of ATM signaling could ameliorate mHTT toxicity in cellular and animal models of HD, suggesting that ATM may be a useful therapeutic target for HD. Copyright © 2014, American Association for the Advancement of Science.


Beconi M.G.,CHDI Management CHDI Foundation | Howland D.,Vivo Inc | Park L.,CHDI Foundation. Inc | Lyons K.,CHDI Foundation. Inc | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Currents | Year: 2012

To evaluate the potential of memantine as a therapeutic agent for Huntington's disease (HD) we have undertaken a series of in vitro, ex vivo and whole animal studies to characterize its pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD) in rats and mice. Results from these studies will enable determination of memantine exposures needed to engage the related functional PD marker and help predict the dose regimen for clinical trials to test its proposed mechanism of action; the selective blockade of extrasynaptic, but not synaptic, NMDA receptors. The studies reported here describe the PK of memantine in rats and mice at low (1 mg/kg) and high (10 mg/kg) doses. Our studies indicate that the clearance mechanisms of memantine in rats and mice are different from those in human, and that clearance needs to be taken into account when extrapolating to the human. In rats only, there is a significant metabolic contribution to memantine clearance at lower dose levels. While memantine is primarily cleared renally in all three species, the proportion of total systemic clearance above the glomerular filtration rate (GFR) is much higher in rats and mice (~13, 4.5, and 1.4 times higher than GFR in rats, mice, and humans, respectively), suggesting that the contribution of active transport to memantine elimination in rats and mice is more significant than in the human. In rats and mice, memantine had a short half-life (100). In the human, the half-life of memantine was reported to be very long (60-80 h) with a Cmax/Cmin ratio at steady state concentrations of ~1.5. A small change in the clearance of memantine - for example due to renal impairment or competition for the elimination pathway with a co-administered drug - will likely affect exposure and, therefore, the selectivity of memantine on NMDA receptors. The PK differences observed between these species demonstrate that the PK in mice and rats cannot be directly extrapolated to the human. Further, the relationship between the plasma concentration (and therefore dose) needed to elicit a mechanism-related in vivo functional effect (PD readout) while maintaining the selectivity of the extrasynaptic blockade of the NMDA receptors needs to be established before clinical trials can be appropriately planned.


Lu X.-H.,University of California at Los Angeles | Mattis V.B.,Cedars Sinai Medical Center | Wang N.,University of California at Los Angeles | Al-Ramahi I.,Baylor College of Medicine | And 21 more authors.
Science Translational Medicine | Year: 2014

Age-related neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's disease and Huntington's disease (HD) consistently show elevated DNA damage, but the relevant molecular pathways in disease pathogenesis remain unclear. One attractive gene is that encoding the ataxia-telangiectasia mutated (ATM) protein, a kinase involved in the DNA damage response, apoptosis, and cellular homeostasis. Loss-of-function mutations in both alleles of ATM cause ataxia-telangiectasia in children, but heterozygous mutation carriers are disease-free. Persistently elevated ATM signaling has been demonstrated in Alzheimer's disease and in mouse models of other neurodegenerative diseases. We show that ATM signaling was consistently elevated in cells derived from HD mice and in brain tissue from HD mice and patients. ATM knockdown protected from toxicities induced by mutant Huntingtin (mHTT) fragments in mammalian cells and in transgenic Drosophila models. By crossing the murine Atm heterozygous null allele onto BACHD mice expressing full-length human mHTT, we show that genetic reduction of Atm gene dosage by one copy ameliorated multiple behavioral deficits and partially improved neuropathology. Small-molecule ATM inhibitors reduced mHTTinduced death of rat striatal neurons and induced pluripotent stem cells derived from HD patients. Our study provides converging genetic and pharmacological evidence that reduction of ATM signaling could ameliorate mHTT toxicity in cellular and animal models of HD, suggesting that ATM may be a useful therapeutic target for HD.


PubMed | Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and CHDI Foundation CHDI Management Inc.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Biochemical and biophysical research communications | Year: 2015

Expansion of a CAG triplet repeat within the first exon of the HUNTINGTIN gene encoding for a polyglutamine tract is the cause of a progressive neurodegenerative disorder known as Huntingtons disease. N-terminal fragments of mutant huntingtin have a strong propensity to form oligomers and aggregates that have been linked to the Huntingtons disease pathology by different mechanisms, including gain of toxic functions. The biological and biophysical properties of the polyglutamine expansion within these huntingtin fragments are influenced by neighboring domains, in particular by the first 17 amino acids of huntingtin (N17), which precede the polyglutamine expansion. It has been suggested that N17 phosphorylation modulate mutant huntingtin aggregation and toxicity, but the study of its functional and pathological relevance requires the capacity to detect this modification in biological samples in a simple, robust way, that ideally provides information on the abundance of a phosphorylated species relative to the total pool of the protein of interest. Using a modified SDS-PAGE protocol (Phos-Tag) followed by Western blotting with specific anti-HUNTINGTIN antibodies, we efficiently resolved huntingtin fragments expressed in cellular contexts based on the presence of phosphorylated residues, we defined threonine 3 as the major site of huntingtin N17 phosphorylation and, finally, we identified IKK-beta as a kinase capable of phosphorylating threonine 3 in N-terminal hungtingtin fragments.


PubMed | Psychogenics, Inc., Evotec, Charles River Discovery Services, Neuroservice SARL and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Experimental neurology | Year: 2016

Dysregulation of the kynurenine (Kyn) pathway has been associated with the progression of Huntingtons disease (HD). In particular, elevated levels of the kynurenine metabolites 3-hydroxy kynurenine (3-OH-Kyn) and quinolinic acid (Quin), have been reported in the brains of HD patients as well as in rodent models of HD. The production of these metabolites is controlled by the activity of kynurenine mono-oxygenase (KMO), an enzyme which catalyzes the synthesis of 3-OH-Kyn from Kyn. In order to determine the role of KMO in the phenotype of mouse models of HD, we have developed a potent and selective KMO inhibitor termed CHDI-340246. We show that this compound, when administered orally to transgenic mouse models of HD, potently and dose-dependently modulates the Kyn pathway in peripheral tissues and in the central nervous system. The administration of CHDI-340246 leads to an inhibition of the formation of 3-OH-Kyn and Quin, and to an elevation of Kyn and Kynurenic acid (KynA) levels in brain tissues. We show that administration of CHDI-340246 or of Kyn and of KynA can restore several electrophysiological alterations in mouse models of HD, both acutely and after chronic administration. However, using a comprehensive panel of behavioral tests, we demonstrate that the chronic dosing of a selective KMO inhibitor does not significantly modify behavioral phenotypes or natural progression in mouse models of HD.

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