Characterization of huntingtin interactomes and their dynamic responses in living cells by proximity proteomics.

Document Type


Publication Date



JGM, Humans, Vimentin, Proteomics, Neuroblastoma, Neural Stem Cells, Mutation, Huntingtin Protein, Huntington Disease, Tumor Microenvironment

JAX Source

J Neurochem. 2023;164(4):512-28.








Florida Department of Health, Grant/ Award Number: 9AZ06; National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, Grant/Award Number: EB025819; National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Grant/Award Number: NS111202


Huntingtin (Htt) is a large protein without clearly defined molecular functions. Mutation in this protein causes Huntington's disease (HD), a fatal inherited neurodegenerative disorder. Identification of Htt-interacting proteins by the traditional approaches including yeast two-hybrid systems and affinity purifications has greatly facilitated the understanding of Htt function. However, these methods eliminated the intracellular spatial information of the Htt interactome during sample preparations. Moreover, the temporal changes of the Htt interactome in response to acute cellular stresses cannot be easily resolved with these approaches. Ascorbate peroxidase (APEX2)-based proximity labeling has been used to spatiotemporally investigate protein-protein interactions in living cells. In this study, we generated stable human SH-SY5Y cell lines expressing full-length Htt23Q and Htt145Q with N-terminus tagged Flag-APEX2 to quantitatively map the spatiotemporal changes of Htt interactome to a mild acute proteotoxic stress. Our data revealed that normal and mutant Htt (muHtt) are associated with distinct intracellular microenvironments. Specifically, mutant Htt is preferentially associated with intermediate filaments and myosin complexes. Furthermore, the dynamic changes of Htt interactomes in response to stress are different between normal and mutant Htt. Vimentin is identified as one of the most significant proteins that preferentially interacts with muHtt in situ. Further functional studies demonstrated that mutant Htt affects the vimentin's function of regulating proteostasis in healthy and HD human neural stem cells. Taken together, our data offer important insights into the molecular functions of normal and mutant Htt by providing a list of Htt-interacting proteins in their natural cellular context for further studies in different HD models.