New Roles for Canonical Transcription Factors in Repeat Expansion Diseases

Publication date: Available online 11 December 2019Source: Trends in GeneticsAuthor(s): Lindsey D. Goodman, Nancy M. BoniniThe presence of microsatellite repeat expansions within genes is associated with>30 neurological diseases. Of interest, (GGGGCC)>30-repeats within C9orf72 are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD). These expansions can be 100s to 1000s of units long. Thus, it is perplexing how RNA-polymerase II (RNAPII) can successfully transcribe them. Recent investigations focusing on GGGGCC-transcription have identified specific, canonical complexes that may promote RNAPII-transcription at these GC-rich microsatellites: the DSIF complex and PAF1C. These complexes may be important for resolving the unique secondary structures formed by GGGGCC-DNA during transcription. Importantly, this process can produce potentially toxic repeat-containing RNA that can encode potentially toxic peptides, impacting neuron function and health. Understanding how transcription of these repeats occurs has implications for therapeutics in multiple diseases.
Source: Trends in Genetics - Category: Genetics & Stem Cells Source Type: research

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Abstract The presence of microsatellite repeat expansions within genes is associated with>30 neurological diseases. Of interest, (GGGGCC)>30-repeats within C9orf72 are associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD). These expansions can be 100s to 1000s of units long. Thus, it is perplexing how RNA-polymerase II (RNAPII) can successfully transcribe them. Recent investigations focusing on GGGGCC-transcription have identified specific, canonical complexes that may promote RNAPII-transcription at these GC-rich microsatellites: the DSIF complex and PAF1C. These complexes may ...
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