Analysis of the RNA-binding Protein FUS and Its Role in Neurodegenerative Disease

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Project Summary/Abstract:
Fused in Sarcoma (FUS) is a human RNA-binding protein, mutations in which can cause amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a devastating neurodegenerative disease affecting 1 in 50000 people in the U.S. each
year and has 50% mortality within 3 years of diagnosis. Mutations in FUS are the second leading genetic
cause of ALS, responsible for 5% of familial and 1% of sporadic ALS. I have discovered that the primary
function for FUS in cells is to regulate phosphorylation of RNA polymerase II, the polymerase in cells that
produces mRNA. This model rationalizes previous reports that loss or overexpression of FUS in cells leads to
altered transcription and mRNA processing. This project will focus on further establishing the mechanism of
FUS activity on transcription in cells and determining the role that FUS plays in ALS pathology. After
completion of key studies and development of the assays necessary to complete these investigations during
the mentored phase, this project will then turn during the independent R00 phase to test hypotheses
concerning how noncoding RNAs and specific domains of the FUS contribute to FUS activity in cells. I will also
investigate the extent to which loss of FUS activity contributes to ALS pathology in a cell-based model.
Because the molecular mechanisms of ALS pathology remain unknown, understanding the cellular role of FUS
will provide mechanistic insight into ALS pathology and facilitate further medical research into the causes and
therapeutic strategies for the treatment of ALS.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/20/131/31/18

Funding

  • National Institutes of Health: $80,776.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $30,332.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $259,070.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $252,872.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $80,776.00

ASJC

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)

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