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Sense and antisense RNA are not toxic in Drosophila models of C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD

Moens, TG; Mizielinska, S; Niccoli, T; Mitchell, JS; Thoeng, A; Ridler, CE; Grönke, S; ... Isaacs, AM; + view all (2018) Sense and antisense RNA are not toxic in Drosophila models of C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD. Acta Neuropathologica , 135 (3) pp. 445-457. 10.1007/s00401-017-1798-3. Green open access

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Abstract

A GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Neurodegeneration may occur via transcription of the repeats into inherently toxic repetitive sense and antisense RNA species, or via repeat-associated non-ATG initiated translation (RANT) of sense and antisense RNA into toxic dipeptide repeat proteins. We have previously demonstrated that regular interspersion of repeat RNA with stop codons prevents RANT (RNA-only models), allowing us to study the role of repeat RNA in isolation. Here we have created novel RNA-only Drosophila models, including the first models of antisense repeat toxicity, and flies expressing extremely large repeats, within the range observed in patients. We generated flies expressing ~ 100 repeat sense or antisense RNA either as part of a processed polyadenylated transcript or intronic sequence. We additionally created Drosophila expressing > 1000 RNA-only repeats in the sense direction. When expressed in adult Drosophila neurons polyadenylated repeat RNA is largely cytoplasmic in localisation, whilst intronic repeat RNA forms intranuclear RNA foci, as does > 1000 repeat RNA, thus allowing us to investigate both nuclear and cytoplasmic RNA toxicity. We confirmed that these RNA foci are capable of sequestering endogenous Drosophila RNA-binding proteins, and that the production of dipeptide proteins (poly-glycine-proline, and poly-glycine-arginine) is suppressed in our models. We find that neither cytoplasmic nor nuclear sense or antisense RNA are toxic when expressed in adult Drosophila neurons, suggesting they have a limited role in disease pathogenesis.

Type: Article
Title: Sense and antisense RNA are not toxic in Drosophila models of C9orf72-associated ALS/FTD
Location: Germany
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1007/s00401-017-1798-3
Publisher version: http://doi.org/10.1007/s00401-017-1798-3
Language: English
Additional information: © The Author(s) 2018. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Keywords: ALS, C9orf72, Drosophila, FTD, Repeat expansion
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Department of Neuromuscular Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology > Neurodegenerative Diseases
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Life Sciences > Div of Biosciences > Genetics, Evolution and Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10043370
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