Research tools & reagents

Research Tools & Reagents

Easy access to validated biological reagents removes resource barriers for researchers currently working on Huntington’s disease (HD) and for others new to the field. CHDI recognizes that HD therapeutic development is dependent on the research scientists’ unobstructed access to quality-controlled research tools and we are continually developing methods, tools, and other resources for all researchers working on HD. Our goal is to broaden the participation of the HD research community by providing ever sharper tools for understanding the disease and for developing effective therapies. Easier access should also help accelerate research and increase the participation of the HD research community.

HD Community BioRepository

Working together with the Coriell Institute for Medical Research, CHDI has established a secure, centralized repository called the HD Community BioRepository (HDCB) to store and distribute quality-controlled and reliable research reagents.

The BioRepository currently contains:

  • huntingtin cDNAs: including exon 1 and full-length constructs with various CAG repeat lengths in different vectors, that have been fully sequenced and verified.
  • antibodies: CHDI-initiated productions directed at therapeutic targets for HD and their corresponding antigenic peptides.
  • cell lines: from CHDI-initiated research and other HD researchers, these have been expanded and checked for sterility (including mycoplasma).

Our goal is to make all materials with detailed supporting information (including vector maps, sequences and culture protocols) available to the HD research community. We continuously seek out and commission other biological reagents that may be useful for HD research in order to make them more widely available. We are grateful to all those in the HD research community who have helped build the HDCB and encourage anyone interested in making their HD research biological reagents available through this biorepository to contact us at info@chdifoundation.org

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I obtain reagents from the HDCB?

Visit the HDCB collection; researchers currently not supported by CHDI may request these resources from the HDCB by creating an online account. Reagents will be sent after completing a simple online MTA; you can see the terms of the MTA here. Recipients are asked to cover the costs of shipping and handling.

CHDI-supported collaborators are asked to contact the CHDI science director/program manager associated with the collaboration, to ascertain whether the requested reagent is already included within their agreement’s Foundation Provided Materials.

To place an order create an account and follow the instructions.

I have a reagent that I’d like to make available to the HD research community, how do I do that?

Please email info@chdifoundation.org and we will advise how to proceed.

I have a suggestion for a reagent that would be important to the HD research community, who do I contact to discuss?

We continuously seek out and commission biological reagents that may be useful to HD researchers. Please forward your suggestions to info@chdifoundation.org

HD Stem Cell Initiative

HD therapeutic development requires cellular models that can accurately recapitulate the cell types most affected in the disease. Embryonic stem (ES) cells are pluripotent and can be induced to differentiate into any cell type. CHDI is pursuing several approaches for the generation and characterization of ES cell lines that contain mutant huntingtin alleles.

The HD Stem Cell Initiative is an international collaboration of HD investigators, stem-cell researchers, and CROs that aims to generate mouse and human HD ES cells from various sources, including:

  • available HD mouse models
  • genetic manipulation of existing human and murine ES lines

ES cells will be characterized, checked for sterility, and banked. They will also undergo existing and novel neuronal differentiation protocols.

Commercial Reagents

The following links list suppliers of key research reagents:

To reduce the time researchers spend tracking down commercial antibodies to wild-type and mutant huntingtin, CHDI has prepared a list of these antibodies. In the near future we will provide an updated, well-annotated list of available antibodies, and welcome any suggestions or additions that would make this reference list more useful. Please feel free to contact us at info@chdifoundation.org

Huntingtin Protein Quantification Assays

Several immunoassays have been developed by the HD research community in recent years to quantify different states of the HTT protein (mutant, wild-type, fragments, soluble forms, oligomers, and aggregates) in a range of tissues and bio-fluids of human, mouse and other species. These are now available on the fee-for-service basis at various contract research organizations (CROs):

  • TR-FRET: ultra-high throughput, homogenous assay based on time-resolved fluorescence resonance energy transfer with simple SOP, conformation specific (pM).
  • MSD: high throughput, electro-chemiluminescence detection assay, high sensitivity (pM).
  • Singulex Technology: ultra-high sensitivity (fM) via magnetic particle assisted confocal laser detection of single protein molecules, extremely robust and reliable for clinical matrices such as complex human body fluids (plasma/CSF), mHTT and total HTT only.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of huntingtin protein quantification assays are available?

Assays available at Charles River Laboratories
Assay Name Assay Platform HTT Protein Detected Comment
 CHDI_HTT_002b.A MSD HTT This assay will detect HTT protein towards the N-terminus
CHDI_HTT_003.A MSD mouse HTT This assay will detect mouse HTT protein but not human HTT protein
CHDI_HTT_004.A MSD full-length HTT This assay will detect HTT protein towards the C-terminus
CHDI_HTT_006.A MSD mutant HTT This assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_0039.A MSD HTT This assay will detect ‘total’ soluble HTT protein
Assays available at IRBM
Assay Name Assay Platform HTT Protein Detected Comment
CHDI_HTT_005 TR-FRET mutant HTT This assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_006.B MSD mutant HTT This assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_007.B MSD HTT This assay will detect  HTT protein in a poly-Q independent manner
CHDI_HTT_040 Singulex mutant HTT This ultrasensitive assay will detect soluble mHTT protein (recommended when biological material is limited (e.g. CSF samples)).
CHDI_HTT_055 MSD HTT This assay will detect  HTT protein in a poly-Q independent manner
Assays available at Evotec
Assay Name Assay Platform HTT Protein Detected Comment
 CHDI_HTT_002b.B MSD HTT This assay will detect HTT protein towards the N-terminus
CHDI_HTT_003.B MSD mouse HTT This assay will detect mouse HTT protein but not human HTT protein
CHDI_HTT_004.B MSD full-length HTT This assay will detect HTT protein towards the C-terminus
CHDI_HTT_005 TR-FRET mutant HTT This assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_006.B MSD mutant HTT This assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_012 TR-FRET aggregated HTT This assay will detect aggregated HTT
CHDI_HTT_013 TR-FRET aggregated HTT This assay will detect aggregated HTT
CHDI_HTT_0039.B MSD HTT This assay will detect ‘total’ soluble HTT protein
CHDI_HTT_040 Singulex mutant HTT This ultrasensitive assay will detect soluble mHTT protein
CHDI_HTT_045.B MSD aggregated HTT This assay will detect aggregated HTT
CHDI_HTT_119 Singulex mouse HTT This ultrasensitive assay will detect soluble mouse HTT protein and not human HTT protei

How do I access these assays?

CHDI-supported collaborators are asked to contact the science director/program manager associated with their collaboration for further information about using these assays.

Researchers currently not collaborating with CHDI can request these resources from the following CROs:

  • Evotec

Kirsten Kuhlbrodt, Evotec AG, Hamburg (DE) – kirsten.kuhlbrodt@evotec.com

  • Charles River Laboratories

AskCharlesRiver@crl.com

Within North America: 1.877.CRIVER.1 (1.877.274.8371)

Outside North America: +800.3195.3430

  • IRBM

Alberto Bresciani – a.bresciani@irbm.it

Research Tool Registration and Submission

To obtain a Foundation ID (CHDI#) collaborators must submit a CHDI Foundation Materials Registration/Submission Request and complete the questionnaire. Please be advised that the submission of a completed questionnaire is obligatory and it will take a minimum of 10 business days to process. If you have any questions and/or concerns please contact the Foundation Scientific Director associated with your collaboration.