Mechanism of Huntington Aggregation Regulated by Profilin

2010 Pilot Project Read More


Principal Investigator: Rohit Pappu (WashU Biomedical Engineering)
Co-investigator: Marc Diamond (formerly WashU Neurology)


Huntington Disease (HD) is an incurable neurodegenerative disease. There are no effective therapies. Further, in general, little is known about molecular mechanisms that might be targeted to block the misfolding and aggregation of the mutant huntingtin protein, which is the cause of the disorder. The Diamond laboratory previously identified a lead compound that blocks pathology in cells and animal models of HD. This grant will directly test the presumed mechanism of this compound, which involves the interaction of a ubiquitous cellular protein (profilin) with the huntingtin protein. The experiments proposed will determine exactly how profilin interacts with huntingtin to block huntingtin’s pathological aggregation, and what are the consequences of this interaction for the structure of huntingtin. This work will elucidate the precise molecular mechanism of the lead compound, and could lead to a better understanding of how to treat HD.

Grants and Awards

See also, Huntington’s Disease target of $4.5 million in NIH grants.

Updated June 2017

Hope Center Investigators

Rohit Pappu

Marc Diamond


This pilot project is made possible by the Danforth Foundation Challenge.

Danforth Challenge