Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome

The interplay of two proteins that bind to messenger RNA, a molecule that mediates translation of the information encoded in genes into proteins, triggers the appearance of fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome (FTAX), a late-life disorder associated with the gene that causes fragile X syndrome in children, said researchers from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and Emory University School of Medicine in a report that appears today in the journal Neuron.

“They are two different diseases, but they are related to one gene,” said Dr. Juan Botas, associate professor of molecular and human genetics at BCM. Fragile X syndrome is the most common inherited form of mental retardation. It occurs in one in 4,000 males and one in 6,000 females.

The ways in which the two disorders occur differ. In both, the gene FMR1 contains too many repeats of the tri-nucleotide CGG. Those with fragile X syndrome have more than 200 repeats, causing the person to lack the fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) encoded by the gene. Those who develop fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome later in life have a “premutation” set of repeats of CGG totaling between 60 and 200. These individuals make the FMRP protein and do not develop fragile X syndrome. Previously, it was thought that 60-200 repeats had no effect on premutation carrier individuals. Now it appears that it does affect a subset of carriers, although it is unclear how many.

People with fragile X-associated tremors/ataxia syndrome suffer from tremor that becomes more severe over time. They have difficulty with walking and balance. Their disease can progress slowly over years until they have difficulty carrying out the activities of daily life. It is found in the grandfathers of children with fragile X syndrome, and it often begins when people are in the 50s and 60s. Most of those with the disease are men.

... more about:
»CGG »Fragile »RNA-binding »Syndrome »X-associated

Researchers noticed that people with the fragile X-associated tremor/ataxia syndrome have higher than normal levels of messenger RNA. Messenger RNA or mRNA takes the protein’s blueprint from the DNA in the cell nucleus to the protein-manufacturing ribosome in the cytoplasm (the jelly-like material that fills the cell’s 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.

Kimberlee Barbour | EurekAlert!
Further information:

Further reports about: CGG Fragile RNA-binding Syndrome X-associated

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Signaling Pathways to the Nucleus
19.03.2018 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht In monogamous species, a compatible partner is more important than an ornamented one
19.03.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Ornithologie

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Tiny implants for cells are functional in vivo

For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.

In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

A new kind of quantum bits in two dimensions

19.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Scientists have a new way to gauge the growth of nanowires

19.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>