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Amyotrophic lateral

Navaneetha Santhanam, Lee Kumanchik, Xiufang Guo, Frank Sommerhage, Yunqing Cai, Max Jackson, Candace Martin, George Saad, Christopher W McAleer, Ying Wang, Andrea Lavado, Christopher J Long, James J Hickman
There are currently no functional neuromuscular junction (hNMJ) systems composed of human cells that could be used for drug evaluations or toxicity testing in vitro. These systems are needed to evaluate NMJs for diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, spinal muscular atrophy or other neurodegenerative diseases or injury states. There are certainly no model systems, animal or human, that allows for isolated treatment of motoneurons or muscle capable of generating dose response curves to evaluate pharmacological activity of these highly specialized functional units...
February 27, 2018: Biomaterials
Ipsita Subudhi, James Shorter
Ubiquilin 2 (UBQLN2) is an amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-linked molecular chaperone with a prion-like domain that directly engages ubiquitin to triage clients for proteasomal degradation. Dao et al. (2018) now establish that UBQLN2 forms ubiquitin-labile liquids, which may enable UBQLN2 to specifically extract ubiquitylated clients from stress granules for degradation.
March 15, 2018: Molecular Cell
Brenda Deliz, Kathya Ramos, Cynthia M Pérez
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the sociodemographic characteristics and clinical and functional profile of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients evaluated at Puerto Rico's Muscular Dystrophy Association-supported (MDA) clinics. METHODS: A retrospective review of 76 medical records of ALS patients evaluated at any of four MDA-sponsored clinics in Puerto Rico. RESULTS: The mean age of diagnosis was 57.4 ± 11.1 yrs. Most of the patients (52.3%) were women...
March 2018: Puerto Rico Health Sciences Journal
Shannon N Rhoads, Zachary T Monahan, Debra S Yee, Frank P Shewmaker
Subcellular mislocalization and aggregation of the human FUS protein occurs in neurons of patients with subtypes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. FUS is one of several RNA-binding proteins that can functionally self-associate into distinct liquid-phase droplet structures. It is postulated that aberrant interactions within the dense phase-separated state can potentiate FUS's transition into solid prion-like aggregates that cause disease. FUS is post-translationally modified at numerous positions, which affect both its localization and aggregation propensity...
March 16, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Michel Geffard, Arturo Mangas, Denis Bedat, Rafael Coveñas
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disease that currently has no cure. At present, the only approved treatment for ALS is Riluzole, a glutamate release blocker that improves life expectancy by 3-6 months. ALS-Endotherapia (GEMALS) is a novel therapeutic approach to treat ALS and the aim of the present study was to investigate the potential beneficial effects of this novel treatment. A total of 31 patients with ALS were assessed in the current study. Deceleration of the disease was observed in 83...
April 2018: Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine
Hilary C Archbold, Kasey L Jackson, Ayush Arora, Kaitlin Weskamp, Elizabeth M-H Tank, Xingli Li, Roberto Miguez, Robert D Dayton, Sharon Tamir, Ronald L Klein, Sami J Barmada
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are progressive neurodegenerative disorders marked in most cases by the nuclear exclusion and cytoplasmic deposition of the RNA binding protein TDP43. We previously demonstrated that ALS-associated mutant TDP43 accumulates within the cytoplasm, and that TDP43 mislocalization predicts neurodegeneration. Here, we sought to prevent neurodegeneration in ALS/FTD models using selective inhibitor of nuclear export (SINE) compounds that target exportin-1 (XPO1)...
March 15, 2018: Scientific Reports
Ana Dolinar, Metka Ravnik-Glavač, Damjan Glavač
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a rapidly progressing neurodegenerative disease. Decades of research show that the etiology of this disease is affected by genetic, epigenetic and environmental factors rather than limited by a patient's genotype. The interaction between these factors is complex, and research has only begun to unravel this issue. The main epigenetic mechanisms, DNA methylation, miRNA, and histone modifications, can explain a portion of the disease complexity. However, the interplay among the epigenetic mechanisms themselves and with genetic factors remains largely uncharacterized...
March 12, 2018: Mechanisms of Ageing and Development
Size Zheng, Katherine S Shing, Muhammad Sahimi
In this paper, the second in a series devoted to molecular modeling of protein aggregation, a mesoscale model of proteins together with extensive discontinuous molecular dynamics simulation is used to study the phenomenon in a confined medium. The medium, as a model of a crowded cellular environment, is represented by a spherical cavity, as well as cylindrical tubes with two aspect ratios. The aggregation process leads to the formation of β sheets and eventually fibrils, whose deposition on biological tissues is believed to be a major factor contributing to many neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis diseases...
March 14, 2018: Journal of Chemical Physics
Sheikh Arslan Sehgal, Mirza A Hammad, Rana Adnan Tahir, Hafiza Nisha Akram, Faheem Ahmad
BACKGROUND: As the number of elderly persons increases, neurodegenerative diseases are becoming ubiquitous. There is currently a great need for knowledge concerning management of old-age neurodegenerative diseases; the most important of which are: Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Huntington's disease. OBJECTIVE: To summarize the potential of computationally predicted molecules and targets against neurodegenerative diseases...
March 15, 2018: Current Neuropharmacology
Jing Sun, Yarong Mu, Yuanyuan Jiang, Ruilong Song, Jianxin Yi, Jingsong Zhou, Jun Sun, Xinan Jiao, Richard A Prinz, Yi Li, Xiulong Xu
Autophagy plays a central role in degrading misfolded proteins such as mutated superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), which forms aggregates in motor neurons and is involved in the pathogenesis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Autophagy is activated when UNC-51-like kinase 1 (ULK1) is phosphorylated at S555 and activated by AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK). Autophagy is suppressed when ULK1 is phosphorylated at S757 by the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR). Whether p70 S6 kinase 1 (S6K1), a serine/threonine kinase downstream of mTOR, can also regulate autophagy remains uncertain...
March 14, 2018: Cell Death & Disease
Katherine B Santosa, Alexandra M Keane, Albina Jablonka-Shariff, Bianca Vannucci, Alison K Snyder-Warwick
The terminal Schwann cell (tSC), a type of nonmyelinating Schwann cell, is a significant yet relatively understudied component of the neuromuscular junction. In addition to reviewing the role tSCs play on formation, maintenance, and remodeling of the synapse, we review studies that implicate tSCs in neuromuscular diseases including spinal muscular atrophy, Miller-Fisher syndrome, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, among others. We also discuss the importance of these cells on degeneration and regeneration after nerve injury...
March 13, 2018: Journal of Neuroscience Research
David J Eve, George Steiner, Ajay Mahendrasah, Paul R Sanberg, Crupa Kurien, Avery Thomson, Cesar V Borlongan, Svitlana Garbuzova-Davis
Blood-spinal cord barrier (BSCB) alterations, including capillary rupture, have been demonstrated in animal models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and ALS patients. To date, treatment to restore BSCB in ALS is underexplored. Here, we evaluated whether intravenous transplantation of human bone marrow CD34+ (hBM34+ ) cells into symptomatic ALS mice leads to restoration of capillary integrity in the spinal cord as determined by detection of microhemorrhages. Three different doses of hBM34+ cells (5 × 104 , 5 × 105 or 1 × 106 ) or media were intravenously injected into symptomatic G93A SOD1 mice at 13 weeks of age...
February 13, 2018: Oncotarget
René Günther, Wiebke Schrempf, Antje Hähner, Thomas Hummel, Martin Wolz, Alexander Storch, Andreas Hermann
Background: Nonmotor symptoms are very common in neurodegenerative diseases. In patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), olfactory dysfunction was first reported more than 20 years ago; however, its pathophysiological correlates and further implications remain elusive. Methods: In this so far largest case-control study, we analyzed olfactory performance with the "Sniffin' Sticks," a validated olfactory testing kit used in clinical routine...
2018: Frontiers in Neurology
Santa Mammana, Paolo Fagone, Eugenio Cavalli, Maria Sofia Basile, Maria Cristina Petralia, Ferdinando Nicoletti, Placido Bramanti, Emanuela Mazzon
In physiological conditions, different types of macrophages can be found within the central nervous system (CNS), i.e., microglia, meningeal macrophages, and perivascular (blood-brain barrier) and choroid plexus (blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier) macrophages. Microglia and tissue-resident macrophages, as well as blood-borne monocytes, have different origins, as the former derive from yolk sac erythromyeloid precursors and the latter from the fetal liver or bone marrow. Accordingly, specific phenotypic patterns characterize each population...
March 13, 2018: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
Yukie Kushimura, Takahiko Tokuda, Yumiko Azuma, Itaru Yamamoto, Ikuko Mizuta, Toshiki Mizuno, Masanori Nakagawa, Morio Ueyama, Yoshitaka Nagai, Hideki Yoshida, Masamitsu Yamaguchi
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive neurodegenerative disease characterized by the motor neuron degeneration that eventually leads to complete paralysis and death within 2-5 years after disease onset. One of the major pathological hallmark of ALS is abnormal accumulation of inclusions containing TAR DNA-binding protein-43 (TDP-43). TDP-43 is normally found in the nucleus, but in ALS, it localizes in the cytoplasm as inclusions as well as in the nucleus. Loss of nuclear TDP-43 functions likely contributes to neurodegeneration...
2018: American Journal of Neurodegenerative Disease
Menuka Pallebage-Gamarallage, Sean Foxley, Ricarda A L Menke, Istvan N Huszar, Mark Jenkinson, Benjamin C Tendler, Chaoyue Wang, Saad Jbabdi, Martin R Turner, Karla L Miller, Olaf Ansorge
BACKGROUND: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a clinically and histopathologically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorder, in which therapy is hindered by the rapid progression of disease and lack of biomarkers. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has demonstrated its potential for detecting the pathological signature and tracking disease progression in ALS. However, the microstructural and molecular pathological substrate is poorly understood and generally defined histologically...
March 13, 2018: BMC Neuroscience
Giuseppe Battaglia, Valeria Bruno
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a complex genetic, late age-onset, progressive neurodegenerative disorder leading to the death of upper and lower motor neurons. Life expectancy after diagnosis is short due to the ongoing degeneration and to the lack of effective treatments. Axonal alterations, mitochondrial deficits, RNA changes, protein misfolding and turnover, glial dysfunction and hyperexcitability are key players in molecular mechanisms involved in the degeneration of motor neurons. In the context of hyperexcitability, metabotropic glutamate (mGlu) receptors, which are widely distributed throughout the central nervous system and act through many intracellular signaling pathways, are emerging as novel potential drug targets for the therapeutic treatment of ALS, as they are able to counteract excitotoxicity by reducing glutamate release and inducing the production of neurotrophic factors...
March 9, 2018: Current Opinion in Pharmacology
Noori Chai, Aaron D Gitler
A hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene has been identified as the most common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. The expanded hexanucleotide repeat is translated by an unconventional mechanism to produce five species of dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs), glycine-proline (GP), glycine-alanine, glycine-arginine (GR), proline-alanine (PA), and proline-arginine (PR). Of these, the arginine-rich ones, PR and GR, are highly toxic in a variety of model systems, ranging from human cells, to Drosophila, to even the budding yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae...
March 8, 2018: FEMS Yeast Research
Amrutha Swaminathan, Marilou Bouffard, Meijiang Liao, Sarah Ryan, Janis Bennion Callister, Stuart M Pickering-Brown, Gary Alan Barclay Armstrong, Pierre Drapeau
Large expansions of hexanucleotide GGGGCC (G4C2) repeats (hundreds to thousands) in the first intron of the chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) locus are the strongest known genetic factor associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (ALS/FTLD). Different hypotheses exist about the underlying disease mechanism including loss-of-function by haploinsufficiency, toxicity arising as a result of RNA or dipeptide repeats (DPRs). Five different DPRs are produced by repeat-associated non-ATG-initiated (RAN) translation of the G4C2 repeats...
March 8, 2018: Human Molecular Genetics
João R Gomes, Inês Cabrito, Hugo R Soares, Susete Costelha, Anabela Teixeira, Angela Wittelsberger, Catelijne Stortelers, Peter Vanlandschoot, Maria J Saraiva
Transthyretin (TTR) is a transport protein of retinol and thyroxine in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), which is mainly secreted in liver and choroid plexus, and in smaller amounts in other cells throughout the body. The exact role of TTR and its specific expression in Central Nervous System (CNS) remains understudied. We investigated TTR expression and metabolism in CNS, through the intranasal and intracerebroventricular delivery of a specific anti-TTR Nanobody to the brain, unveiling Nanobody pharmacokinetics to the CNS...
March 12, 2018: Journal of Neurochemistry
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