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Orozco D.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | Orozco D.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life science IMPRS LS | Orozco D.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Edbauer D.,German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Molecular Medicine | Year: 2013

Mutations in fused in sarcoma (FUS) in a subset of patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) linked this DNA/RNA-binding protein to neurodegeneration. Most of the mutations disrupt the nuclear localization signal which strongly suggests a loss-of-function pathomechanism, supported by cytoplasmic inclusions. FUS-positive neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions are also found in a subset of patients with frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). Here, we discuss recent data on the role of alternative splicing in FUS-mediated pathology in the central nervous system. Several groups have shown that FUS binds broadly to many transcripts in the brain and have also identified a plethora of putative splice targets; however, only ABLIM1, BRAF, Ewing sarcoma protein R1 (EWSR1), microtubule-associated protein tau (MAPT), NgCAM cell adhesion molecule (NRCAM), and netrin G1 (NTNG1) have been identified in at least three of four studies. Gene ontology analysis of all putative targets unanimously suggests a role in axon growth and cytoskeletal organization, consistent with the altered morphology of dendritic spines and axonal growth cones reported upon loss of FUS. Among the axonal targets, MAPT/tau and NTNG1 have been further validated in biochemical studies. The next challenge will be to confirm changes of FUS-mediated alternative splicing in patients and define their precise role in the pathophysiology of ALS and FTLD. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Laprell L.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Laprell L.,International Max Planck Research School for Molecular and Cellular Life science IMPRS LS | Hull K.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | Stawski P.,Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich | And 5 more authors.
ACS Chemical Neuroscience | Year: 2016

Retinal degenerative diseases can have many possible causes and are currently difficult to treat. As an alternative to therapies that require genetic manipulation or the implantation of electronic devices, photopharmacology has emerged as a viable approach to restore visual responses. Here, we present a new photopharmacological strategy that relies on a photoswitchable excitatory amino acid, ATA. This freely diffusible molecule selectively activates AMPA receptors in a light-dependent fashion. It primarily acts on amacrine and retinal ganglion cells, although a minor effect on bipolar cells has been observed. As such, it complements previous pharmacological approaches based on photochromic channel blockers and increases the potential of photopharmacology in vision restoration. (Figure Presented). © 2015 American Chemical Society.

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