Sci. Aging Knowl. Environ., 10 December 2003
Vol. 2003, Issue 49, p. or31


Yeast Genes That Enhance the Toxicity of a Mutant Huntingtin Fragment or {alpha}-Synuclein

Stephen Willingham, Tiago Fleming Outeiro, Michael J. DeVit, Susan L. Lindquist, and Paul J. Muchowski

Abstract: Science 302, 1769-1772 (2003)

Genome-wide screens were performed in yeast to identify genes that enhance the toxicity of a mutant huntingtin fragment or of {alpha}-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 {alpha}-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 {alpha}-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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