The TDP-43 protein is a well-known hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). A pre-clinical study found that an investigational drug may target the particular hallmark protein.
"A common genetic cause of ALS and FTD is a repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene, which somehow leads to TDP-43 aggregation in degenerating neurons, but what remained unclear until now was how those two were connected," said co-senior author James Shorter, PhD, a professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. "We found that TDP-43 aggregates much more rapidly if these toxic poly(GR) proteins are around, suggesting a direct link between the mutation, poly(GR), and TDP-43."
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Findings were published in Science Translational Medicine.
"This finding presents an exciting potential therapeutic target to treat these debilitating diseases by lowering poly(GR) levels," added Hana Odeh, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow in the Shorter lab and co-first author.
Source: Science Daily