Analysis of altered gene expression in YAC transgenic mouse models for Huntington disease

Research has confirmed that an inherited mutation in the huntingtin protein causes Huntington disease, a progressive and ultimately fatal neurological disorder that usually starts in mid-life. There is much more to be learned about the onset and course of the disease and there is no effective treatment. Dr. Edmond Chan is addressing those gaps by profiling gene expression in mice with Huntington disease. His research aims to identify altered patterns of gene expression that link with early, mid and late stages of the disease. The profile may identify genes involved in initiating the process that leads to progressive damage and death of brain cells. Chan will formulate and test specific theories that connect gene expression patterns with the molecular development of Huntington disease. Ultimately, genes identified in the research could suggest treatment strategies to improve quality of life for patients with the disorder.