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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a late-onset neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the loss of motor neurons in the central nervous system, has no known cure to-date. Disease causing mutations in human Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) leads to aggressive and juvenile onset of ALS. FUS is a well-conserved protein across different species, which plays a crucial role in regulating different aspects of RNA metabolism. Targeted misexpression of FUS in Drosophila model recapitulates several interesting phenotypes relevant to ALS including cytoplasmic mislocalization, defects at the neuromuscular junction and motor dysfunction. We screened for the genetic modifiers of human FUS-mediated neurodegenerative phenotype using molecularly defined deficiencies. We identified hippo (hpo), a component of the evolutionarily conserved Hippo growth regulatory pathway, as a genetic modifier of FUS mediated neurodegeneration. Gain-of-function of hpo triggers cell death whereas its loss-of-function promotes cell proliferation. Downregulation of the Hippo signaling pathway, using mutants of Hippo signaling, exhibit rescue of FUS-mediated neurodegeneration in the Drosophila eye, as evident from reduction in the number of TUNEL positive nuclei as well as rescue of axonal targeting from the retina to the brain. The Hippo pathway activates c-Jun amino-terminal (NH) Kinase (JNK) mediated cell death. We found that downregulation of JNK signaling is sufficient to rescue FUS-mediated neurodegeneration in the Drosophila eye. Our study elucidates that Hippo signaling and JNK signaling are activated in response to FUS accumulation to induce neurodegeneration. These studies will shed light on the genetic mechanism involved in neurodegeneration observed in ALS and other associated disorders.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neurobiology of disease
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A NOD-signaling adaptor protein that contains a C-terminal leucine-rich domain which recognizes bacterial PEPTIDOGLYCAN. It signals via an N-terminal caspase recruitment domain that interacts with other CARD SIGNALING ADAPTOR PROTEINS such as RIP SERINE-THEONINE KINASES. It plays a role in the host defense response by signaling the activation of CASPASES and the MAP KINASE SIGNALING SYSTEM.
A NOD signaling adaptor protein that contains two C-terminal leucine-rich domains which recognize bacterial PEPTIDOGLYCAN. It signals via an N-terminal capase recruitment domain that interacts with other CARD SIGNALING ADAPTOR PROTEINS such as RIP SERINE-THEONINE KINASES. The protein plays a role in the host defense response by signaling the activation of CASPASES and the MAP KINASE SIGNALING SYSTEM. Mutations of the gene encoding the nucleotide oligomerization domain 2 protein have been associated with increased susceptibility to CROHN DISEASE.
A subcategory of phosphohydrolases that are specific for MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASES. They play a role in the inactivation of the MAP KINASE SIGNALING SYSTEM.
A RIP serine-theonine kinase that contains a C-terminal caspase activation and recruitment domain. It can signal by associating with other CARD-signaling adaptor proteins and INITIATOR CASPASES that contain CARD domains within their N-terminal pro-domain region.
A Janus kinase subtype that is involved in signaling from a broad variety of CYTOKINE RECEPTORS. The TYK2 kinase is considered the founding member of the janus kinase family and was initially discovered as a signaling partner for the INTERFERON ALPHA-BETA RECEPTOR. The kinase has since been shown to signal from several INTERLEUKIN RECEPTORS.
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