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Cacciottolo, R., Ciantar, J., Lanfranco, M., Borg, R.M., Vassallo, N., Bordonné, R., Cauchi, R.J. (2019). SMN complex member Gemin3 self-interacts and has a functional relationship with ALS-linked proteins TDP-43, FUS and Sod1.  Sci. Rep. 9(1): 18666.
FlyBase ID
FBrf0244289
Publication Type
Research paper
Abstract

The predominant motor neuron disease in infants and adults is spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), respectively. SMA is caused by insufficient levels of the Survival Motor Neuron (SMN) protein, which operates as part of the multiprotein SMN complex that includes the DEAD-box RNA helicase Gemin3/DDX20/DP103. C9orf72, SOD1, TDP-43 and FUS are ranked as the four major genes causing familial ALS. Accumulating evidence has revealed a surprising molecular overlap between SMA and ALS. Here, we ask the question of whether Drosophila can also be exploited to study shared pathogenic pathways. Focusing on motor behaviour, muscle mass and survival, we show that disruption of either TBPH/TDP-43 or Caz/FUS enhance defects associated with Gemin3 loss-of-function. Gemin3-associated neuromuscular junction overgrowth was however suppressed. Sod1 depletion had a modifying effect in late adulthood. We also show that Gemin3 self-interacts and Gem3ΔN, a helicase domain deletion mutant, retains the ability to interact with its wild-type counterpart. Importantly, mutant:wild-type dimers are favoured more than wild- type:wild-type dimers. In addition to reinforcing the link between SMA and ALS, further exploration of mechanistic overlaps is now possible in a genetically tractable model organism. Notably, Gemin3 can be elevated to a candidate for modifying motor neuron degeneration.

PubMed ID
PubMed Central ID
PMC6904755 (PMC) (EuropePMC)
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    Language of Publication
    English
    Additional Languages of Abstract
    Parent Publication
    Publication Type
    Journal
    Abbreviation
    Sci. Rep.
    Title
    Scientific reports
    ISBN/ISSN
    2045-2322
    Data From Reference
    Alleles (38)
    Genes (13)
    Human Disease Models (3)
    Physical Interactions (1)
    Transgenic Constructs (34)