Huntington’s disease is caused by an expanded CAG trinucleotide repeat coding for a polyglutamine stretch within the huntingtin protein. Huntingtin co-purifies with a single novel 40 kDa protein designated HAP40. Recombinant HAP40 is cytoplasmic in the presence of huntingtin but is actively targeted to the nucleus in the absence of huntingtin. These observations suggest that HAP40 contributes to the function of normal huntingtin and is a candidate for involvement in the aberrant nuclear localization of mutant huntingtin found in degenerating neurons in Huntington’s disease.
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