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Pickles S.,Center Dexcellence En Neuromique Of Luniversite Of Montreal | Vande Velde C.,University of Montreal
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Mutations in SOD1, causative for a subset of familial ALS cases, are associated with the formation of non-normal SOD1 conformers. Recent studies have defined this pool of SOD1 as misfolded and new antibodies have been developed to selectively detect misfolded SOD1 in vivo and in vitro. We will review these new tools and expand on the evidence demonstrating mitochondria as a common intersecting point for misfolded SOD1. © 2012 Informa Healthcare. Source

Tetreault M.,Center Dexcellence En Neuromique Of Luniversite Of Montreal
The Canadian journal of neurological sciences. Le journal canadien des sciences neurologiques

We have recruited a group of four living and reviewed the records of six deceased distantly related French-Canadians of Acadian descent affected by a childhood-onset form of recessive limb-girdle muscular dystrophy (LGMD). All cases originate from the small archipelago of the Magdalen Islands (population: 13,000) isolated in the Gulf of St-Lawrence. Based on the likely sharing of the same founder mutation we completed a 319K SNPs genome-wide scan to identify the disease locus and then screen candidate genes in this region. All patients had normal initial motor milestones. They presented with limb girdle weakness at the average age of seven years (5-11). Progressive weakness led to loss of ambulation at a wide range of ages (10-39). Patients also developed macroglossia, large calves and mild to moderate contractures, hyperlordosis and decreased pulmonary function. Creatine kinase levels were elevated (1,800-10,000 U/L) in the first decades, but decreased with progression of disease. Homozygosity mapping uncovered a shared chromosomal region of 6.33Mb. The alpha sarcoglycan (SGCA) gene, mutated in LGMD2D, lay in this candidate interval. Sequencing of all SGCA exons uncovered a shared homozygous missense mutation (c. 229C>T, p.R77C), the most common SGCA mutation internationally reported. Using demographic data, we estimated a high carrier rate of 1/22. The p.R77C mutation has also been observed in many populations, including in France and Spain (Basques). This corresponds to the first reported recessive founder disease for the Magdalen Islands, an archipelago settled in the XIXth century, largely by Acadian immigrants. Source

Casals F.,University of Montreal | Hodgkinson A.,University of Montreal | Hussin J.,University of Montreal | Idaghdour Y.,University of Montreal | And 19 more authors.
PLoS Genetics

Whole-exome or gene targeted resequencing in hundreds to thousands of individuals has shown that the majority of genetic variants are at low frequency in human populations. Rare variants are enriched for functional mutations and are expected to explain an important fraction of the genetic etiology of human disease, therefore having a potential medical interest. In this work, we analyze the whole-exome sequences of French-Canadian individuals, a founder population with a unique demographic history that includes an original population bottleneck less than 20 generations ago, followed by a demographic explosion, and the whole exomes of French individuals sampled from France. We show that in less than 20 generations of genetic isolation from the French population, the genetic pool of French-Canadians shows reduced levels of diversity, higher homozygosity, and an excess of rare variants with low variant sharing with Europeans. Furthermore, the French-Canadian population contains a larger proportion of putatively damaging functional variants, which could partially explain the increased incidence of genetic disease in the province. Our results highlight the impact of population demography on genetic fitness and the contribution of rare variants to the human genetic variation landscape, emphasizing the need for deep cataloguing of genetic variants by resequencing worldwide human populations in order to truly assess disease risk. © 2013 Casals et al. Source

McDonald K.K.,Center Dexcellence En Neuromique Of Luniversite Of Montreal | McDonald K.K.,University of Montreal | Aulas A.,Center Dexcellence En Neuromique Of Luniversite Of Montreal | Aulas A.,University of Montreal | And 11 more authors.
Human Molecular Genetics

TAR deoxyribonucleic acid-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is a multifunctional protein with roles in transcription, pre-messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) splicing, mRNA stability and transport. TDP-43 interacts with other heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins (hnRNPs), including hnRNP A2, via its C-terminus and several hnRNP family members are involved in the cellular stress response. This relationship led us to investigate the role of TDP-43 in cellular stress. Our results demonstrate that TDP-43 and hnRNP A2 are localized to stress granules (SGs), following oxidative stress, heat shock and exposure to thapsigargin. TDP-43 contributes to both the assembly and maintenance of SGs in response to oxidative stress and differentially regulates key SGs components, including TIA-1 and G3BP. The controlled aggregation of TIA-1 is disrupted in the absence of TDP-43 resulting in slowed SG formation. In addition, TDP-43 regulates the levels of G3BP mRNA, a SG nucleating factor. The disease-associated mutation TDP-43R361S is a loss-of-function mutation with regards to SG formation and confers alterations in levels of G3BP and TIA-1. In contrast, a second mutation TDP-43D169G does not impact this pathway. Thus, mutations in TDP-43 are mechanistically divergent. Finally, the cellular function of TDP-43 extends beyond splicing and places TDP-43 as a participant of the central cellular response to stress and an active player in RNA storage. © The Author 2011. Published by Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Source

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