Disruption to cellular trafficking in ALS and FTD caused by protein accumulation

Written by Roisin Conneely

Researchers from Emory University School of Medicine (GA, USA) and Mayo Clinic (FL, USA) have identified a protein that appears to aggregate and disrupt cellular trafficking systems in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Most cases of ALS are sporadic, whilst only a minority are solely caused by inherited mutations in the C9orf72 gene. Previously, this mutation was thought to influence the protein in question, TAR DNA binding protein-43 (TDP-43); however, this research suggests the protein is itself an independent perpetrator of disease pathology. TDP-43 is normally located in the nucleus, but in neurones affected by ALS, it...

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