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Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
Date:8/15/2007

yndrome have higher than normal levels of messenger RNA. Messenger RNA or mRNA takes the proteins blueprint from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the protein-manufacturing ribosome in the cytoplasm (the jelly-like material that fills the cells interior).

Studying fruit flies, Botas and his colleagues found two RNA-binding proteins hnRNP A2/B1 and CUGBP1 that are involved in the new disease. RNA-binding proteins control the metabolism of mRNA. However, these RNA-binding proteins tend to bind to CGG repeats. When there are too many CGG repeats, too many molecules of these proteins are bound to the repeats, preventing them from fulfilling their normal function of controlling mRNA metabolism.

When Botas and his colleagues created a fly with too many CGG repeats, the fly developed the neurodegenerative disease. However, when they developed a fly that made more than the normal amount of the RNA-binding proteins, the disease was much less severe.


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Contact: Kimberlee Barbour
kbarbour@bcm.edu
713-798-4712
Baylor College of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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