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.

Related Articles


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 October 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 October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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