Characterization of the lncRNA transcriptome in mESC-derived motor neurons


Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are currently recognized as crucial players in nervous system development, function and pathology. In Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), identification of causative mutations in FUS and TDP-43 or hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 point to the essential role of aberrant RNA metabolism in neurodegeneration. In this study, by taking advantage of an in vitro differentiation system generating mouse motor neurons (MNs) from embryonic stem cells, researchers at the Center for Life Nano Science, Italy identified and characterized the long non-coding transcriptome of MNs. Moreover, by using mutant mouse MNs carrying the equivalent of one of the most severe ALS-associated FUS alleles (P517L), we identified lncRNAs affected by this mutation. Comparative analysis with human MNs derived in vitro from induced pluripotent stem cells indicated that candidate lncRNAs are conserved between mouse and human. This work provides a global view of the long non-coding transcriptome of MN, as a prerequisite toward the comprehension of the still poorly characterized non-coding side of MN physiopathology.

Biscarini S, Capauto D, Peruzzi G, Lu L, Colantoni A, Santini T, Shneider NA, Caffarelli E, Laneve P, Bozzoni I. (2018) Characterization of the lncRNA transcriptome in mESC-derived motor neurons: Implications for FUS-ALS. Stem Cell Res [Epub ahead of print]. [article]

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