Transcriptional disturbance is implicated in the pathology of polyglutamine diseases, including Huntington's disease (HD). However, it is unknown whether transcriptional repression leads to neuronal death or what forms that death might take. We found transcriptional repression-induced atypical death (TRIAD) of neurons to be distinct from apoptosis, necrosis, or autophagy. The progression of TRIAD was extremely slow in comparison with other types of cell death. Gene expression profiling revealed the reduction of full-length yes-associated protein (YAP), a p73 cofactor to promote apoptosis, as specific to TRIAD. Furthermore, novel neuron-specific YAP isoforms (YAPΔCs) were sustained during TRIAD to suppress neuronal death in a dominant-negative fashion. YAPΔCs and activated p73 were colocalized in the striatal neurons of HD patients and mutant huntingtin (htt) transgenic mice. YAPΔCs also markedly attenuated Htt-induced neuronal death in primary neuron and Drosophila melanogaster models. Collectively, transcriptional repression induces a novel prototype of neuronal death associated with the changes of YAP isoforms and p73, which might be relevant to the HD pathology.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology