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      RNA Misprocessing in C9orf72-Linked Neurodegeneration

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          A large GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the first intron or promoter region of the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of familial and sporadic Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a devastating degenerative disease of motor neurons, and of Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD), the second most common form of presenile dementia after Alzheimer’s disease. C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD is a multifaceted disease both in terms of its clinical presentation and the misregulated cellular pathways contributing to disease progression. Among the numerous pathways misregulated in C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD, altered RNA processing has consistently appeared at the forefront of C9orf72 research. This includes bidirectional transcription of the repeat sequence, accumulation of repeat RNA into nuclear foci sequestering specific RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) and translation of RNA repeats into dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs) by repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN)-initiated translation. Over the past few years the true extent of RNA misprocessing in C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD has begun to emerge and disruptions have been identified in almost all aspects of the life of an RNA molecule, including release from RNA polymerase II, translation in the cytoplasm and degradation. Furthermore, several alterations have been identified in the processing of the C9orf72 RNA itself, in terms of its transcription, splicing and localization. This review article aims to consolidate our current knowledge on the consequence of the C9orf72 repeat expansion on RNA processing and draws attention to the mechanisms by which several aspects of C9orf72 molecular pathology converge to perturb every stage of RNA metabolism.

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          Most cited references 58

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          A large-scale analysis of mRNA polyadenylation of human and mouse genes

          mRNA polyadenylation is a critical cellular process in eukaryotes. It involves 3′ end cleavage of nascent mRNAs and addition of the poly(A) tail, which plays important roles in many aspects of the cellular metabolism of mRNA. The process is controlled by various cis-acting elements surrounding the cleavage site, and their binding factors. In this study, we surveyed genome regions containing cleavage sites [herein called poly(A) sites], for 13 942 human and 11 155 mouse genes. We found that a great proportion of human and mouse genes have alternative polyadenylation (∼54 and 32%, respectively). The conservation of alternative polyadenylation type or polyadenylation configuration between human and mouse orthologs is statistically significant, indicating that alternative polyadenylation is widely employed by these two species to produce alternative gene transcripts. Genes belonging to several functional groups, indicated by their Gene Ontology annotations, are biased with respect to polyadenylation configuration. Many poly(A) sites harbor multiple cleavage sites (51.25% human and 46.97% mouse sites), leading to heterogeneous 3′ end formation for transcripts. This implies that the cleavage process of polyadenylation is largely imprecise. Different types of poly(A) sites, with regard to their relative locations in a gene, are found to have distinct nucleotide composition in surrounding genomic regions. This large-scale study provides important insights into the mechanism of polyadenylation in mammalian species and represents a genomic view of the regulation of gene expression by alternative polyadenylation.
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            DNA/RNA helicase gene mutations in a form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4).

            Juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) is a rare autosomal dominant form of juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) characterized by distal muscle weakness and atrophy, normal sensation, and pyramidal signs. Individuals affected with ALS4 usually have an onset of symptoms at age <25 years, a slow rate of progression, and a normal life span. The ALS4 locus maps to a 1.7-Mb interval on chromosome 9q34 flanked by D9S64 and D9S1198. To identify the molecular basis of ALS4, we tested 19 genes within the ALS4 interval and detected missense mutations (T3I, L389S, and R2136H) in the Senataxin gene (SETX). The SETX gene encodes a novel 302.8-kD protein. Although its function remains unknown, SETX contains a DNA/RNA helicase domain with strong homology to human RENT1 and IGHMBP2, two genes encoding proteins known to have roles in RNA processing. These observations of ALS4 suggest that mutations in SETX may cause neuronal degeneration through dysfunction of the helicase activity or other steps in RNA processing.
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              TDP-43 promotes microRNA biogenesis as a component of the Drosha and Dicer complexes.

              Although aberrant microRNA (miRNA) expression is linked to human diseases including cancer, the mechanisms that regulate the expression of each individual miRNA remain largely unknown. TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43) is homologous to the heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), which are involved in RNA processing, and its abnormal cellular distribution is a key feature of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), two neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we show that TDP-43 facilitates the production of a subset of precursor miRNAs (pre-miRNAs) by both interacting with the nuclear Drosha complex and binding directly to the relevant primary miRNAs (pri-miRNAs). Furthermore, cytoplasmic TDP-43, which interacts with the Dicer complex, promotes the processing of some of these pre-miRNAs via binding to their terminal loops. Finally, we show that involvement of TDP-43 in miRNA biogenesis is indispensable for neuronal outgrowth. These results support a previously uncharacterized role for TDP-43 in posttranscriptional regulation of miRNA expression in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm.

                Author and article information

                Front Cell Neurosci
                Front Cell Neurosci
                Front. Cell. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                11 July 2017
                : 11
                Department of Basic and Clinical Neuroscience, Maurice Wohl Clinical Neuroscience Institute, Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London London, United Kingdom
                Author notes

                Edited by: Ho Yin Edwin Chan, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

                Reviewed by: Chris W. Lee, Atlantic Health System/Biomedical Research Institute of New Jersey, United States; Katarzyna Gaweda-Walerych, Mossakowski Medical Research Centre, Poland; Kim A. Staats, University of Southern California, United States

                *Correspondence: Holly V. Barker holly.v.barker@ 123456kcl.ac.uk
                Copyright © 2017 Barker, Niblock, Lee, Shaw and Gallo.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 1, Equations: 0, References: 126, Pages: 15, Words: 12488


                repeats, splicing, frontotemporal dementia, rna, c9orf72, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


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