Learn More
A prominent feature of late-onset neurodegenerative diseases is accumulation of misfolded protein in vulnerable neurons. When levels of misfolded protein overwhelm degradative pathways, the result is cellular toxicity and neurodegeneration. Cellular mechanisms for degrading misfolded protein include the ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), the main(More)
The common fruit fly, Drosophila melanogaster, is a well studied and highly tractable genetic model organism for understanding molecular mechanisms of human diseases. Many basic biological, physiological, and neurological properties are conserved between mammals and D. melanogaster, and nearly 75% of human disease-causing genes are believed to have a(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset neurodegenerative disease that leads invariably to fatal paralysis associated with motor neuron degeneration and muscular atrophy. One gene associated with ALS encodes the DNA/RNA-binding protein Fused in Sarcoma (FUS). There now exist two Drosophila models of ALS. In one, human FUS with ALS-causing(More)
Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by loss of the SMN1 gene and retention of SMN2. The SMN2 copy number inversely correlates with phenotypic severity and is a modifier of disease outcome. The SMN2 gene essentially differs from SMN1 by a single nucleotide in exon 7 that modulates the incorporation of exon 7 into the final SMN transcript. The majority of the(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an uncommon neurodegenerative disease caused by degeneration of upper and lower motor neurons. Several genes, including SOD1, TDP-43, FUS, Ubiquilin 2, C9orf72 and Profilin 1, have been linked with the sporadic and familiar forms of ALS. FUS is a DNA/RNA-binding protein (RBP) that forms cytoplasmic inclusions in ALS(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of motor neurons. Fused in sarcoma/translated in liposarcoma (FUS/TLS) and TAR DNA-binding protein (TDP)-43 are DNA/RNA-binding proteins found to be mutated in sporadic and familial forms of ALS. Ectopic expression of human ALS-causing FUS/TLS mutations(More)
The recent identification of ALS-linked mutations in FUS and TDP-43 has led to a major shift in our thinking in regard to the potential molecular mechanisms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). RNA-mediated proteinopathy is increasingly being recognized as a potential cause of neurodegenerative disorders. FUS(More)
Fragile X Tremor Ataxia Syndrome (FXTAS) is a common inherited neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a CGG trinucleotide repeat in the 5'UTR of the fragile X syndrome (FXS) gene, FMR1. The expanded CGG repeat is thought to induce toxicity as RNA, and in FXTAS patients mRNA levels for FMR1 are markedly increased. Despite the critical role of FMR1(More)
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late onset and progressive motor neuron disease. Mutations in the gene coding for fused in sarcoma/translocated in liposarcoma (FUS) are responsible for some cases of both familial and sporadic forms of ALS. The mechanism through which mutations of FUS result in motor neuron degeneration and loss is not known. FUS(More)
Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly, has been used to study molecular mechanisms of a wide range of human diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and various neurological diseases(1). We have optimized simple and robust behavioral assays for determining larval locomotion, adult climbing ability (RING assay), and courtship behaviors of Drosophila.(More)