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RNA dysregulation in models of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Humphrey, Jack; (2019) RNA dysregulation in models of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are two rare but devastating neurodegenerative diseases that share pathological features and genetic factors. A central question in both diseases is the role of the RNA-binding proteins transactive response DNA-binding protein 43kDa (TDP-43) and fused in sarcoma (FUS). These proteins play a vital role in RNA regulation in all cells but in diseased neurons they alter their cellular localisation to form potentially pathogenic aggregates. This process can be linked to rare genetic mutations in the TARDBP and FUS genes, although most cases of ALS and FTD have no known genetic cause. My work uses the revolutionary technology of RNA sequencing to measure and compare gene expression and RNA splicing in different cellular and animal models of sporadic and genetic disease. Here I present the results of four studies that investigate the biology of TDP-43 and FUS, assessing both their normal cellular roles and the impact of rare disease-causing mutations. In these projects I analyse RNA sequencing data to discover novel gene expression and RNA splicing phenomena. This includes the repression of cryptic splicing by TDP-43 but not FUS, the progressive downregulation of mitochondrial and ribosomal transcripts in a mouse model of FUS ALS, a gain of splicing function by TDP-43 mutations affecting constitutive exon splicing, and widespread changes in intron retention caused by FUS knockout or aggressive FUS mutations. I also discover a novel mechanism for how FUS might regulate its own translation. This work expands on what is currently known about the roles in RNA regulation for TDP- 43 and FUS and provides new avenues for understanding both the causes and progression of ALS and FTD.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: RNA dysregulation in models of frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: ALS, FTD, TDP43, TDP-43, FUS, Motor Neuron Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, FTLD
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10067651
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