Table of Contents
Journal of Neurodegenerative Diseases
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 7120753, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/7120753
Research Article

An Intrabody Drug (rAAV6-INT41) Reduces the Binding of N-Terminal Huntingtin Fragment(s) to DNA to Basal Levels in PC12 Cells and Delays Cognitive Loss in the R6/2 Animal Model

Vybion Inc., P.O. Box 4030, Ithaca, NY 14852, USA

Received 27 April 2016; Accepted 27 June 2016

Academic Editor: Nihar Ranjan Jana

Copyright © 2016 I. Alexandra Amaro and Lee A. Henderson. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Huntington’s disease (HD) is a fatal progressive disease linked to expansion of glutamine repeats in the huntingtin protein and characterized by the progressive loss of cognitive and motor function. We show that expression of a mutant human huntingtin exon-1-GFP fusion construct results in nonspecific gene dysregulation that is significantly reduced by 50% due to coexpression of INT41, an intrabody specific for the proline-rich region of the huntingtin protein. Using stable PC12 cell lines expressing either inducible human mutant huntingtin (mHtt, Q73) or normal huntingtin (nHtt, Q23), we investigated the effect of rAAV6-INT41, an adeno-associated virus vector with the INT41 coding sequence, on the subcellular distribution of Htt. Compartmental fractionation 8 days after induction of Htt showed a 6-fold increased association of a dominate N-terminal mHtt fragment with DNA compared to N-terminal nHtt. Transduction with rAAV6-INT41 reduced DNA binding of N-terminal mHtt 6.5-fold in the nucleus and reduced nuclear translocation of the detected fragments. Subsequently, when rAAV6-INT41 is delivered to the striatum in the R6/2 mouse model, treated female mice exhibited executive function statistically indistinguishable from wild type, accompanied by reductions in Htt aggregates in the striatum, suggesting that rAAV6-INT41 is promising as a gene therapy for Huntington’s disease.