Huntington's disease (HD) is an autosomal dominant neurodegenerative disease caused by an expansion of cytosine-adenine-guanine (CAG) repeats in the Huntingtin gene Htt. To facilitate research into HD, we have derived 4 human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines containing ≥ 40 CAG repeats in exon 1 of Htt: SIVF017-HD (CAG₄₀), SIVF018-HD (CAG₄₆), SIVF020-HD (CAG₄₈), and SIVF046-HD (CAG₄₅). Additionally, we have derived a normal sibling-matched control for SIVF020-HD, cell line SIVF019. All 5 hESC lines had a normal karyotype, expressed pluripotency markers including Oct4, SSEA3, and Tra-1-81, and could be maintained in culture for multiple (>40) passages. Teratoma studies revealed that the hESC lines were capable of differentiating into cells representative of the 3 germ layers. Furthermore, in vitro neuronal differentiation experiments have confirmed that the hESC lines were able to generate MAP2-positive neuronal cells that express the Htt protein. Combined, these experiments confirm that the cell lines represent pluripotent stem cell lines. These HD-affected hESC lines will be made available to biomedical research laboratories and will provide a valuable tool to investigate the mechanisms and potential treatments for HD.
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