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Brittany N Flores, Mark E Dulchavsky, Amy Krans, Michael R Sawaya, Henry L Paulson, Peter K Todd, Sami J Barmada, Magdalena I Ivanova
Hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9orf72 are the most common inherited cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). The expansions elicit toxicity in part through repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation of the intronic (GGGGCC)n sequence into dipeptide repeat-containing proteins (DPRs). Little is known, however, about the structural characteristics and aggregation propensities of the dipeptide units comprising DPRs. To address this question, we synthesized dipeptide units corresponding to the three sense-strand RAN translation products, analyzed their structures by circular dichroism, electron microscopy and dye binding assays, and assessed their relative toxicity when applied to primary cortical neurons...
2016: PloS One
Bor L Tang
Hexanucleotide repeat expansion in an intron of Chromosome 9 open reading frame 72 (C9orf72) is the most common genetic cause of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). While functional haploinsufficiency of C9orf72 resulting from the mutation may play a role in ALS/FTD, the actual cellular role of the protein has been unclear. Recent findings have now shown that C9orf72 physically and functionally interacts with multiple members of the Rab small GTPases family, consequently exerting important influences on cellular membrane traffic and the process of autophagy...
2016: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
J Lagarde, M Sarazin
Frontotemporal degeneration (FTD) in its behavioral variant (bvFTD) is probably one of the conditions that best illustrates the links between psychiatry and neurology. It is indeed admitted that between a third and half of patients with this condition, especially in early-onset forms, receive an initial diagnosis of psychiatric disorder (depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder) and are then referred to a psychiatric ward. BvFTD can thus be considered a neurological disorder with a psychiatric presentation...
October 20, 2016: L'Encéphale
Kyung-Ha Lee, Peipei Zhang, Hong Joo Kim, Diana M Mitrea, Mohona Sarkar, Brian D Freibaum, Jaclyn Cika, Maura Coughlin, James Messing, Amandine Molliex, Brian A Maxwell, Nam Chul Kim, Jamshid Temirov, Jennifer Moore, Regina-Maria Kolaitis, Timothy I Shaw, Bing Bai, Junmin Peng, Richard W Kriwacki, J Paul Taylor
Expansion of a hexanucleotide repeat GGGGCC (G4C2) in C9ORF72 is the most common cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Transcripts carrying (G4C2) expansions undergo unconventional, non-ATG-dependent translation, generating toxic dipeptide repeat (DPR) proteins thought to contribute to disease. Here, we identify the interactome of all DPRs and find that arginine-containing DPRs, polyGly-Arg (GR) and polyPro-Arg (PR), interact with RNA-binding proteins and proteins with low complexity sequence domains (LCDs) that often mediate the assembly of membrane-less organelles...
October 20, 2016: Cell
Christopher P Webster, Emma F Smith, Andrew J Grierson, Kurt J De Vos
A GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the first intron of the C9orf72 gene is the most common genetic defect associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) (C9ALS/FTD). Haploinsufficiency and a resulting loss of C9orf72 protein function has been suggested as a possible pathogenic mechanism in C9ALS/FTD. C9ALS/FTD patients exhibit specific ubiquitin and p62/sequestosome-1 positive but TDP-43 negative inclusions in the cerebellum and hippocampus, indicating possible autophagy deficits in these patients...
October 21, 2016: Small GTPases
Carlo Wilke, Frank Gillardon, Christian Deuschle, Markus A Hobert, Iris E Jansen, Florian G Metzger, Peter Heutink, Thomas Gasser, Walter Maetzler, Cornelis Blauwendraat, Matthis Synofzik
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Reduced progranulin levels are a hallmark of frontotemporal dementia (FTD) caused by loss-of-function (LoF) mutations in the progranulin gene (GRN). However, alterations of central nervous progranulin expression also occur in neurodegenerative disorders unrelated to GRN mutations, such as Alzheimer's disease. We hypothesised that central nervous progranulin levels are also reduced in GRN-negative FTD. METHODS: Progranulin levels were determined in both cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and serum in 75 subjects (37 FTD patients and 38 controls)...
October 20, 2016: Neuro-degenerative Diseases
Jianshuang Wu, Susanne Wurst, Xianzhou Zhang
The biodiversity-productivity relationship is still under debate for alpine grasslands on the Tibetan Plateau. We know little about direct and indirect effects of biotic and abiotic drivers on this relationship, especially in regard to plant functional trait diversity. Here, we examine how aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) respond to climate, soil and community structure across alpine grasslands on the Northern Tibetan Plateau. We found that both ANPP and PUE showed nonlinear patterns along water availability and site altitude variation, which together accounted for 80...
October 19, 2016: Scientific Reports
Duygu Tosun, Norbert Schuff, Gil D Rabinovici, Nagehan Ayakta, Bruce L Miller, William Jagust, Joel Kramer, Michael M Weiner, Howard J Rosen
OBJECTIVE: To compare the values of arterial spin-labeled (ASL) MRI and fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) PET in the diagnosis of behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: Partial least squares logistic regression was used to identify voxels with diagnostic value in cerebral blood flow (CBF) and cerebral metabolic rate of glucose (CMRgl) maps from patients with bvFTD (n = 32) and AD (n = 28), who were compared with each other and with cognitively normal controls (CN, n = 15)...
October 2016: Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Hui Chen, Shuai Liu, Miaoyan Zheng, Lu Ji, Tianfeng Wu, Guowei Huang, Yong Ji
BACKGROUND AND AIMS: There is a growing focus on frontotemporal dementia (FTD). However, compared with other major dementias, very little is known about the factors associated with FTD. The present study evaluated candidate factors associated with FTD in the Chinese population. METHODS: One hundred eight elderly patients (36 diagnosed with FTD and 72 controls) of the Neurology Central Hospital of Tianjin (China), were diagnosed by neurologists, and recruited for the study between November 2011 and November 2014...
July 2016: Archives of Medical Research
Thomas Westergard, Brigid K Jensen, Xinmei Wen, Jingli Cai, Elizabeth Kropf, Lorraine Iacovitti, Piera Pasinelli, Davide Trotti
Aberrant hexanucleotide repeat expansions in C9orf72 are the most common genetic change underlying amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). RNA transcripts containing these expansions undergo repeat-associated non-ATG translation (RAN-T) to form five dipeptide repeat proteins (DPRs). DPRs are found as aggregates throughout the CNS of C9orf72-ALS/FTD patients, and some cause degeneration when expressed in vitro in neuronal cultures and in vivo in animal models. The spread of characteristic disease-related proteins drives the progression of pathology in many neurodegenerative diseases...
October 11, 2016: Cell Reports
Atsushi Yamaguchi, Keisuke Takanashi
FUS (Fused-in-Sarcoma) is a multifunctional DNA/RNA binding protein linked to familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD). Since FUS is localized mainly in the nucleus with nucleo-cytoplasmic shuttling, it is critical to understand physiological functions in the nucleus to clarify pathogenesis. Here we report a yeast two-hybrid screening identified FUS interaction with nuclear matrix-associated protein SAFB1 (scaffold attachment factor B1). FUS and SAFB1, abundant in chromatin-bound fraction, interact in a DNA-dependent manner...
October 12, 2016: Scientific Reports
Judith Stegmüller, Matthis Synofzik
This Editorial highlights a study by Huang and colleagues in the current issue of Journal of Neurochemistry. The authors introduce a novel ALS-FTD (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-frontotemporal dementia) rat model to explore the role of the UBLQN2 gene that has previously been associated with familial ALS-FTD. Over-expression of ubiquilin 2 in the cortex (CTX) and hippocampus of the rat results in ubiquilin 2 aggregates and neurodegeneration together with cognitive deficits. The new rat model not only gives insight into potential molecular underpinnings of ALS-FTD, but also represents an important new tool for future research and therapeutic approaches...
October 2016: Journal of Neurochemistry
Rodrigo Lopez-Gonzalez, Yubing Lu, Tania F Gendron, Anna Karydas, Helene Tran, Dejun Yang, Leonard Petrucelli, Bruce L Miller, Sandra Almeida, Fen-Biao Gao
GGGGCC repeat expansions in C9ORF72 are the most common genetic cause of both ALS and FTD. To uncover underlying pathogenic mechanisms, we found that DNA damage was greater, in an age-dependent manner, in motor neurons differentiated from iPSCs of multiple C9ORF72 patients than control neurons. Ectopic expression of the dipeptide repeat (DPR) protein (GR)80 in iPSC-derived control neurons increased DNA damage, suggesting poly(GR) contributes to DNA damage in aged C9ORF72 neurons. Oxidative stress was also increased in C9ORF72 neurons in an age-dependent manner...
September 20, 2016: Neuron
P S Jairani, P M Aswathy, Srinivas Gopala, Joe Verghese, P S Mathuranath
BACKGROUND: This study delineates the role of the interaction of apolipoprotein E (APOE) and MAPT alleles in contributing to disease risks of dementia in a southern Indian population. METHODS: A sample of 419 patients comprising Alzheimer's disease (AD; n = 156), mild cognitive impairment (MCI; n = 87), frontotemporal dementia (FTD; n = 127), vascular dementia (VD; n = 37), and dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB; n = 12) was analysed in comparison with a control group (n = 138)...
October 6, 2016: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Lieke H H Meeter, Holger Patzke, Gordon Loewen, Elise G P Dopper, Yolande A L Pijnenburg, Rick van Minkelen, John C van Swieten
BACKGROUND: Pathogenic mutations in the granulin gene (GRN) are causative in 5-10% of patients with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), mostly leading to reduced progranulin protein (PGRN) levels. Upcoming therapeutic trials focus on enhancing PGRN levels. METHODS: Fluctuations in plasma PGRN (n = 41) and its relationship with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, n = 32) and specific single nucleotide polymorphisms were investigated in pre- and symptomatic GRN mutation carriers and controls...
May 2016: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra
Miguel Ángel Muñoz-Ruiz, Anette Hall, Jussi Mattila, Juha Koikkalainen, Sanna-Kaisa Herukka, Minna Husso, Tuomo Hänninen, Ritva Vanninen, Yawu Liu, Merja Hallikainen, Jyrki Lötjönen, Anne M Remes, Irina Alafuzoff, Hilkka Soininen, Päivi Hartikainen
BACKGROUND: Disease State Index (DSI) and its visualization, Disease State Fingerprint (DSF), form a computer-assisted clinical decision making tool that combines patient data and compares them with cases with known outcomes. AIMS: To investigate the ability of the DSI to diagnose frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). METHODS: The study cohort consisted of 38 patients with FTD, 57 with AD and 22 controls. Autopsy verification of FTD with TDP-43 positive pathology was available for 14 and AD pathology for 12 cases...
May 2016: Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders Extra
Daniel Radzicki, Erdong Liu, Han-Xiang Deng, Teepu Siddique, Marco Martina
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are believed to represent the different outcomes of a common pathogenic mechanism. However, while researchers have intensely studied the involvement of motor neurons in the ALS/FTD syndrome, very little is known about the function of hippocampal neurons, although this area is critical for memory and other cognitive functions. We investigated the electrophysiological properties of CA1 pyramidal cells in slices from 1 month-old UBQLN2(P497H) mice, a recently generated model of ALS/FTD that shows heavy depositions of ubiquilin2-positive aggregates in this brain region...
2016: Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience
Karen Manoutcharian, Roxanna Perez-Garmendia, Goar Gevorkian
Recombinant antibody fragments are promising alternatives to full-length immunoglobulins and offer important advantages compared with conventional monoclonal antibodies: extreme specificity, higher affinity, superior stability and solubility, reduced immunogenicity as well as easy and inexpensive large-scale production. Different antibody formats such as single-chain fragment variable (scFv), single-domain antibody fragments (VHHs or sdAbs), bispecific antibodies (bsAbs), intrabodies and nanobodies, are currently being studied in pre-clinical models of cancer as well as infectious and autoimmune diseases and many of them are being tested as therapeutics in clinical trials...
September 30, 2016: Current Neuropharmacology
Annika C Montag, Andrew D Hull, Lyubov Yevtushok, Natalya Zymak-Zakutnya, Zoryana Sosyniuk, Viktor Dolhov, Kenneth Lyons Jones, Wladimir Wertelecki, Christina D Chambers
BACKGROUND: Early detection of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs) is desirable to allow earlier and more comprehensive interventions to be initiated for the mother and infant. We examined prenatal ultrasound as an early method of detecting markers of the physical features and neurobehavioral deficits characteristic of FASD. METHODS: A longitudinal cohort of pregnant women in Ukraine was recruited as part of the Collaborative Initiative on Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders...
September 30, 2016: Alcoholism, Clinical and Experimental Research
Michihito Masuda, Joe Senda, Hirohisa Watanabe, Bagarinao Epifanio, Yasuhiro Tanaka, Kazunori Imai, Yuchi Riku, Yuanzhe Li, Ryoichi Nakamura, Mizuki Ito, Shinsuke Ishigaki, Naoki Atsuta, Haruki Koike, Masahisa Katsuno, Nobutaka Hattori, Shinji Naganawa, Gen Sobue
We investigated common structural and network changes across the sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-frontotemporal dementia (FTD) continuum. Based on cluster analysis using the frontotemporal assessment battery, 51 patients with sporadic ALS were subdivided into three groups: 25 patients with ALS with cognitive deficiency (ALS-CD); seven patients who satisfied FTD criteria (ALS-FTD), and 19 patients with ALS with normal cognitive function (ALS-NC). Compared with the controls, gray matter images from patients with ALS-FTD showed atrophic changes in the following order of severity: caudate head, medial frontal gyrus, thalamus, amygdala, putamen, and cingulate gyrus (peak level, uncorrected p < 0...
August 10, 2016: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration
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