Expression of microRNAs in human post-mortem amyotrophic lateral sclerosis spinal cords provides insight into disease mechanisms

Associated faculty or student(s): Publication Date:
Thursday, March 3, 2016

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a late-onset and terminal neurodegenerative disease. The majority of cases are sporadic with unknown causes and only a small number of cases are genetically linked. Recent evidence suggests that post-transcriptional regulation and epigenetic mechanisms, such as microRNAs, underlie the onset and progression of neurodegenerative disorders; therefore, altered microRNA expression may result in the dysregulation of key genes and biological pathways that contribute to the development of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Using systems biology analyses on postmortem human spinal cord tissue, we identified dysregulated mature microRNAs and their potential targets previously implicated in functional process and pathways associated with the pathogenesis of ALS. Furthermore, we report a global reduction of maturemicroRNAs, alterations in microRNA processing, and support for a role of the nucleotide binding protein, TAR DNA binding protein 43, in regulating sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-associated microRNAs, thereby offering a potential underlying mechanism for sporadic amyotrophic lateralsclerosis.

Link to publication: