Maintenance of triplet decoding is crucial for the expression of functional protein because deviations either into the -1 or +1 reading frames are often non-functional. We report here that expression of huntingtin (Htt) exon 1 with expanded CAG repeats, implicated in Huntington pathology, undergoes a sporadic +1 frameshift to generate from the CAG repeat a trans-frame AGC repeat-encoded product. This +1 recoding is exclusively detected in pathological Htt variants, i.e. those with expanded repeats with more than 35 consecutive CAG codons. An atypical +1 shift site, UUC C at the 5 end of CAG repeats, which has some resemblance to the influenza A virus shift site, triggers the +1 frameshifting and is enhanced by the increased propensity of the expanded CAG repeats to form a stem-loop structure. The +1 trans-frame-encoded product can directly influence the aggregation of the parental Htt exon 1.