Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Silent RNAs express themselves in ALS disease

Date:
December 2, 2013
Source:
Rockefeller University Press
Summary:
RNA molecules are generally thought to be “silent” when stowed in cytoplasmic granules. But a protein mutated in some ALS patients forms granules that permit translation of stored RNAs. The finding identifies a new mechanism that could contribute to the pathology of the disease.

Mutant Fus granules (red), which are present in some cases of ALS, coincide with sites of protein production (green), indicating that the granules are active sites of RNA translation.
Credit: Yasuda et al., 2013

RNA molecules, used by cells to make proteins, are generally thought to be "silent" when stowed in cytoplasmic granules. But a protein mutated in some ALS patients forms granules that permit translation of stored RNAs, according to a study in The Journal of Cell Biology. The finding identifies a new mechanism that could contribute to the pathology of the disease.

ALS, often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Although the cause of ALS is not completely understood, researchers have been increasingly focused on RNA processing as an important cause of disease symptoms.

RNAs are gregarious, clustering with other RNA molecules and proteins to form RNP (ribonucleoprotein) complexes. RNPs then can gather into larger, more complex structures within the cell called granules. There are several kinds of granules, some that are always present and others that appear under stress, and researchers have generally thought that RNAs in granules are not translated into proteins.

A team of researchers led by Stavroula Mili from the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, took a closer look at the functions of a protein called Fus, which is mutated in some ALS patients and causes large RNA granules to form in the patients' cells. The researchers demonstrated that Fus normally promotes the translation of RNA found in RNPs localized in cell protrusions. But abnormal versions of Fus found in ALS patients have broader effects. Cells engineered to produce mutant Fus protein harbor cytoplasmic granules that are similar to those found in the cells of ALS patients. The researchers anticipated that RNAs in the granules would be silent, but they instead discovered that the cells translated several of the RNAs into proteins.

The results suggest a new mechanism that could potentially drive ALS, in which misdirection of RNA translation, rather than RNA silencing, might contribute to disease.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Yasuda, K., et al. The RNA-binding protein Fus directs translation of localized mRNAs in APC-RNP granules. J. Cell Biol., December 2013

Cite This Page:

Rockefeller University Press. "Silent RNAs express themselves in ALS disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121048.htm>.
Rockefeller University Press. (2013, December 2). Silent RNAs express themselves in ALS disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121048.htm
Rockefeller University Press. "Silent RNAs express themselves in ALS disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131202121048.htm (accessed July 25, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Friday, July 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

How to Make Single Serving Smoothies: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 24, 2014) Smoothies are a great way to get in lots of healthy ingredients, plus they taste great! Howdini has a trick for making the perfect single-size smoothie that will save you time on cleanup too! All you need is a blender and a mason jar. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Boy Attacked by Shark in Florida

Reuters - US Online Video (July 24, 2014) An 8-year-old boy is bitten in the leg by a shark while vacationing at a Florida beach. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Goma Cheese Brings Whiff of New Hope to DRC

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 24, 2014) The eastern region of the Democratic Republic of Congo, mainly known for conflict and instability, is an unlikely place for the production of fine cheese. But a farm in the village of Masisi, in North Kivu is slowly transforming perceptions of the area. Known simply as Goma cheese, the Congolese version of Dutch gouda has gained popularity through out the region. Ciara Sutton reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Tyrannosaur Pack-Hunting Theory Aided By New Footprints

Newsy (July 24, 2014) A new study claims a set of prehistoric T-Rex footprints supports the theory that the giant predators hunted in packs instead of alone. 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