Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identified

Date:
January 15, 2013
Source:
University of Western Ontario
Summary:
Researchers have identified a new genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), opening the door to future targeted therapies. Medical researchers found that mutations within the ARHGEF28 gene are present in ALS. When they looked across both familial and sporadic forms of the disease, they found that virtually all cases of ALS demonstrated abnormal inclusions of the protein that arises from this gene.

Western researchers have identified a new genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), opening the door to future targeted therapies.

Dr. Michael Strong, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry dean, and colleagues discovered mutations within the ARHGEF28 gene are present in ALS. When they looked across both familial and sporadic forms of the disease, they found virtually all cases of ALS demonstrated abnormal inclusions of the protein that arises from this gene.

Strong is a scientist with Western's Robarts Research Institute and Distinguished University Professor in Clinical Neurological Sciences at Schulich.

The study is published online in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, the official journal of The World Federation of Neurology Research Group on Motor Neuron Diseases.

ALS, sometimes called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive disease that affects the motor neurons connecting the brain to muscles throughout the body. It is a devastating disease with 90 per cent of patients dying within five years of diagnosis. As many as 2,000 Canadians and 30,000 Americans are living with ALS.

Strong's team is convinced ALS is a disorder of RNA metabolism. RNA is the intermediary or messenger between genes and the protein being made. This new protein appears to play a critical role.

"Every time we look at a cell degenerating, this particular protein was deposited abnormally in the cell. It was a common denominator," Strong said. "Working with Dr. Rob Hegele at Robarts, we found there was a genetic mutation in the gene coding for this protein. So it's a huge discovery."

Unlike most proteins which have one key function, this one has two.

"One side works with RNA. The other side has the capacity to regenerate or to deal with an injury. We think those are competitive activities so if it's doing one, it's not available to do the other," Strong said.

In the case of ALS, Strong believes the protein is disturbed on the RNA side so it's no longer able to respond to cell injury.

"We need to understand what causes the switch between the two functions, and then can we modulate it," he said.

The research was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the ALS Society of Canada.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Western Ontario. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Cristian A. Droppelmann, Jian Wang, Danae Campos-Melo, Brian Keller, Kathryn Volkening, Robert A. Hegele, Michael J. Strong. Detection of a novel frameshift mutation and regions with homozygosis within ARHGEF28 gene in familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration, 2013; 1 DOI: 10.3109/21678421.2012.758288

Cite This Page:

University of Western Ontario. "New genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 January 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115143906.htm>.
University of Western Ontario. (2013, January 15). New genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115143906.htm
University of Western Ontario. "New genetic mutation for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130115143906.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

Sierra Leone in Lockdown to Control Ebola

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) Sierra Leone residents remained in lockdown on Saturday as part of a massive effort to confine millions of people to their homes in a bid to stem the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Sierra Leone's Nationwide Ebola Curfew Underway

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) Sierra Leone is locked down as aid workers and volunteers look for new cases of Ebola. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Changes Found In Brain After One Dose Of Antidepressants

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) A study suggest antidepressants can kick in much sooner than previously thought. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Could Grief Affect The Immune Systems Of Senior Citizens?

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) The study found elderly people are much more likely to become susceptible to infection than younger adults going though a similar situation. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins