Huntingtin as an essential integrator of intracellular vesicular trafficking

Trends Cell Biol. 2009 Apr;19(4):147-55. doi: 10.1016/j.tcb.2009.01.005. Epub 2009 Mar 5.


The neurodegenerative disorder Huntington's disease is caused by an expansion in the polyglutamine repeat region of the protein huntingtin. Multiple studies in cellular and animal model systems indicate that this mutation imparts a novel toxic function required for disease pathogenesis. However, the normal function of huntingtin, an essential cellular protein in higher vertebrates, is not yet well understood. Emerging data indicate an important role for wild-type huntingtin in the intracellular transport of vesicles and organelles. Here, we discuss current progress on the role of huntingtin in vesicular trafficking, focusing on the proposal that huntingtin might be a crucial regulator of organelle transport along the cellular cytoskeleton.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biological Transport
  • Carrier Proteins / physiology
  • Cytoplasmic Vesicles / physiology*
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Dyneins / physiology
  • Humans
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Huntington Disease / genetics
  • Huntington Disease / metabolism*
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / genetics
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins / metabolism*
  • Nuclear Proteins / genetics
  • Nuclear Proteins / metabolism*


  • Carrier Proteins
  • HTT protein, human
  • Htt protein, mouse
  • Huntingtin Protein
  • Nerve Tissue Proteins
  • Nuclear Proteins
  • Dyneins