Biochemical and Functional Characterization of Novel RNA-binding Proteins Interacting with SMN in Motor Neuron-derived Cells

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Title: Biochemical and Functional Characterization of Novel RNA-binding Proteins Interacting with SMN in Motor Neuron-derived Cells
Authors: Laframboise, Janik
Date: 2013
Abstract: Spinal muscular atrophy is an autosomal recessive genetic disease that results from the loss and/or degeneration of alpha motor neurons in the lower part of the spinal cord. With ~ 1 in 6000 live births per year being affected, this disease is the second leading cause of infant death and is caused by the loss or decrease of the Survival of Motor Neuron protein (SMN). While a lot is known about the role that SMN plays in the cytoplasmic assembly of spliceosomal small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs), it remains a crucial question in the field to gain a better understanding of what specific/distinct function(s) SMN might have in motor neurons. We have identified novel interactions between SMN and two RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) known to be components of axonal RNA granules. More specifically, we demonstrated that SMN interacts with HuD and SERBP1 in a direct fashion in foci-like structures along neurites of motor neuron-derived cells. We have also demonstrated that the SMN/HuD interaction is required for the localization of HuD into RNA granules in neurites of motor neuron-derived cells. Furthermore, I have shown that SERBP1 is down-regulated in the absence of normal levels of SMN and, most importantly, that over-expression of SERBP1 can rescue SMA-like neuronal defects using a cell culture model of the disease. These findings may help shed light on the non-canonical molecular pathway(s) involving SMN and RBPs in motor neurons and underscores the possible therapeutic benefits of targeting these RBPs in the treatment of SMA.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/23656
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-6388
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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