Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

The Twist basic helix-loop-helix transcription factor 1 (Twist1) has been implicated in embryogenesis and carcinogenesis, due to its effects on cell proliferation and anti-apoptosis signaling. Interestingly, a connection between Twist1 and neurotoxicity was recently made in mutant huntingtin (mHtt)-expressing primary cortical neurons; however, the role of Twist1 in Huntington's disease (HD)-affected striatal neurons remains undescribed. In this study, we evaluated the expression and function of Twist1 in the R6/2 HD mouse model, which expresses the polyQ-expanded N-terminal portion of human HTT protein, and a pair of striatal progenitor cell lines (STHdhQ109 and STHdhQ7), which express polyQ-expanded or non-expanded full-length mouse Htt. We further probed upstream signaling events and Twist1 anti-apoptotic function in the striatal progenitor cell lines. Twist1 was increased in mHtt-expressing striatal progenitor cells (STHdhQ109) and was correlated with disease progression in striatum and cortex brain regions of R6/2 mice. In the cell model, downregulation of Twist1 induced death of STHdhQ109 cells but had no effect on wild-type striatal progenitor cells (STHdhQ7). Twist1 knockdown stimulated caspase-3 activation and apoptosis. Furthermore, we found that signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) were increased in HD striatal progenitor cells and acted as an upstream regulator of Twist1. As such, inhibition of STAT3 induced apoptosis in HD striatal progenitor cells. Our results suggest that mHtt upregulates STAT3 to induce Twist1 expression. Upregulated Twist1 inhibits apoptosis, which may protect striatal cells from death during disease progression. Thus, we propose that Twist1 might play a protective role against striatal degeneration in HD.


Wei-Ping Jen, Hui-Mei Chen, Yow-Sien Lin, Yijuang Chern, Yi-Ching Lee. Twist1 Plays an Anti-apoptotic Role in Mutant Huntingtin Expression Striatal Progenitor Cells. Molecular neurobiology. 2020 Mar;57(3):1688-1703

Expand section icon Mesh Tags

Expand section icon Substances

PMID: 31813126

View Full Text