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Glycine-alanine dipeptide repeats spread rapidly in a repeat length- and age-dependent manner in the fly brain

Morón-Oset, J; Supèr, T; Esser, J; Isaacs, AM; Grönke, S; Partridge, L; (2019) Glycine-alanine dipeptide repeats spread rapidly in a repeat length- and age-dependent manner in the fly brain. Acta Neuropathologica Communications , 7 , Article 209. 10.1186/s40478-019-0860-x. Green open access

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Abstract

Hexanucleotide repeat expansions of variable size in C9orf72 are the most prevalent genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Sense and antisense transcripts of the expansions are translated by repeat-associated non-AUG translation into five dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs). Of these, the polyGR, polyPR and, to a lesser extent, polyGA DPRs are neurotoxic, with polyGA the most abundantly detected DPR in patient tissue. Trans-cellular transmission of protein aggregates has recently emerged as a major driver of toxicity in various neurodegenerative diseases. In vitro evidence suggests that the C9 DPRs can spread. However, whether this phenomenon occurs under more complex in vivo conditions remains unexplored. Here, we used the adult fly brain to investigate whether the C9 DPRs can spread in vivo upon expression in a subset of neurons. We found that only polyGA can progressively spread throughout the brain, which accumulates in the shape of aggregate-like puncta inside recipient cells. Interestingly, GA transmission occurred as early as 3 days after expression induction. By comparing the spread of 36, 100 and 200 polyGA repeats, we found that polyGA spread is enhanced upon expression of longer GA DPRs. Transmission of polyGA is greater in older flies, indicating that age-associated factors exacerbate the spread. These data highlight a unique propensity of polyGA to spread throughout the brain, which could contribute to the greater abundance of polyGA in patient tissue. In addition, we present a model of early GA transmission that is suitable for genetic screens to identify mechanisms of spread and its consequences in vivo

Type: Article
Title: Glycine-alanine dipeptide repeats spread rapidly in a repeat length- and age-dependent manner in the fly brain
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s40478-019-0860-x
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40478-019-0860-x
Language: English
Additional information: 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. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.
Keywords: C9orf72, Dipeptide repeat proteins, PolyGA, Drosophila, Spread, Repeat size, Ageing
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 > 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/10089056
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