Allele-selective suppression of mutant genes in polyglutamine diseases

Chia Rung Liu, Tzu Hao Cheng*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are heritable dominant neurological disorders, caused by abnormal CAG tri-nucleotide expansion in the coding sequence of affected genes. Extension of CAG repeats results in the production of aberrant gene products that are deleterious to neurons, such as transcripts with a CAG stem-loop secondary structure, and proteins containing a long stretch of polyQ residues. Thus, determining methods for the prevention or elimination of these mutant gene products from neuronal cells and translating this knowledge to clinical application are currently important goals in the fields of neurology and neurogenetics. Recently, several studies have revealed intriguing findings related to the allele-selective regulation of CAG-expanded genes, and have proposed novel designs to selectively diminish the mutant polyQ proteins. In this review, we focus on the genes, genetically engineered proteins, and oligonucleotides that show potential to modulate the expression of mutant genes. We also discuss their respective molecular functions at the levels of transcription, translation, and post-translation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Neurogenetics
Issue number2-3
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2015


  • Allele-selective gene suppression
  • CAG expansion
  • dominant mutation
  • Huntington ' s disease
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • polyQ diseases


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