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Yeast Genes That Enhance the Toxicity of a Mutant Huntingtin Fragment or α-Synuclein

Science  05 Dec 2003:
Vol. 302, Issue 5651, pp. 1769-1772
DOI: 10.1126/science.1090389

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Abstract

Genome-wide screens were performed in yeast to identify genes that enhance the toxicity of a mutant huntingtin fragment or of α-synuclein. Of 4850 haploid mutants containing deletions of nonessential genes, 52 were identified that were sensitive to a mutant huntingtin fragment, 86 that were sensitive to α-synuclein, and only one mutant that was sensitive to both. Genes that enhanced toxicity of the mutant huntingtin fragment clustered in the functionally related cellular processes of response to stress, protein folding, and ubiquitin-dependent protein catabolism, whereas genes that modified α-synuclein toxicity clustered in the processes of lipid metabolism and vesicle-mediated transport. Genes with human orthologs were overrepresented in our screens, suggesting that we may have discovered conserved and nonoverlapping sets of cell-autonomous genes and pathways that are relevant to Huntington's disease and Parkinson's disease.

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