Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lou Gehrig's Disease Gene

Medical News Today reported recently that a new candidate gene has been found that is associated with Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS. ALS is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that has already been linked to mutations in TDP-43 and FUS. A recent study shows that the disease may also be linked to other genes with similar properties. This discovery was made by examining yeast cells--both TDP-43 and FUS are known to be toxic in yeast, so the researchers looked for other proteins that were aggregate and toxic. The researchers focused on one in particular, TAF15. The yeast research was supported by samples from ALS patients, that found TAF15 variants. Ultimately, the take-away here is that aggregation of these RNA binding proteins in general contribute to Lou Gehrig's Disease, information which hopefully can speed up research on the causes and possible treatments for this disease.

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