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The era of cryptic exons: implications for ALS-FTD

Mehta, Puja R; Brown, Anna-Leigh; Ward, Michael E; Fratta, Pietro; (2023) The era of cryptic exons: implications for ALS-FTD. Molecular Neurodegeneration , 18 , Article 16. 10.1186/s13024-023-00608-5. Green open access

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Abstract

TDP-43 is an RNA-binding protein with a crucial nuclear role in splicing, and mislocalises from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in a range of neurodegenerative disorders. TDP-43 proteinopathy spans a spectrum of incurable, heterogeneous, and increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative diseases, including the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia disease spectrum and a significant fraction of Alzheimer's disease. There are currently no directed disease-modifying therapies for TDP-43 proteinopathies, and no way to distinguish who is affected before death. It is now clear that TDP-43 proteinopathy leads to a number of molecular changes, including the de-repression and inclusion of cryptic exons. Importantly, some of these cryptic exons lead to the loss of crucial neuronal proteins and have been shown to be key pathogenic players in disease pathogenesis (e.g., STMN2), as well as being able to modify disease progression (e.g., UNC13A). Thus, these aberrant splicing events make promising novel therapeutic targets to restore functional gene expression. Moreover, presence of these cryptic exons is highly specific to patients and areas of the brain affected by TDP-43 proteinopathy, offering the potential to develop biomarkers for early detection and stratification of patients. In summary, the discovery of cryptic exons gives hope for novel diagnostics and therapeutics on the horizon for TDP-43 proteinopathies.

Type: Article
Title: The era of cryptic exons: implications for ALS-FTD
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1186/s13024-023-00608-5
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13024-023-00608-5
Language: English
Additional information: This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. 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 in a credit line to the data.
Keywords: Motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Frontotemporal dementia, TDP-43 proteinopathies, Cryptic exons, Splicing, Biomarkers, Therapeutics, UNC13A, STMN2
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
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10167095
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