3 years ago

RNA phase transitions in repeat expansion disorders

RNA phase transitions in repeat expansion disorders
Ronald D. Vale, Ankur Jain
Expansions of short nucleotide repeats produce several neurological and neuromuscular disorders including Huntington disease, muscular dystrophy, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. A common pathological feature of these diseases is the accumulation of the repeat-containing transcripts into aberrant foci in the nucleus. RNA foci, as well as the disease symptoms, only manifest above a critical number of nucleotide repeats, but the molecular mechanism governing foci formation above this characteristic threshold remains unresolved. Here we show that repeat expansions create templates for multivalent base-pairing, which causes purified RNA to undergo a sol–gel transition in vitro at a similar critical repeat number as observed in the diseases. In human cells, RNA foci form by phase separation of the repeat-containing RNA and can be dissolved by agents that disrupt RNA gelation in vitro. Analogous to protein aggregation disorders, our results suggest that the sequence-specific gelation of RNAs could be a contributing factor to neurological disease.

Publisher URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature22386

DOI: 10.1038/nature22386

You might also like
Discover & Discuss Important Research

Keeping up-to-date with research can feel impossible, with papers being published faster than you'll ever be able to read them. That's where Researcher comes in: we're simplifying discovery and making important discussions happen. With over 19,000 sources, including peer-reviewed journals, preprints, blogs, universities, podcasts and Live events across 10 research areas, you'll never miss what's important to you. It's like social media, but better. Oh, and we should mention - it's free.

  • Download from Google Play
  • Download from App Store
  • Download from AppInChina

Researcher displays publicly available abstracts and doesn’t host any full article content. If the content is open access, we will direct clicks from the abstracts to the publisher website and display the PDF copy on our platform. Clicks to view the full text will be directed to the publisher website, where only users with subscriptions or access through their institution are able to view the full article.