Genetic Engineering of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Reprogramming to Motor Neurons to Elucidate Selective Motor Neuron Death in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Ruepp, Marc-David (24 January 2014). Genetic Engineering of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Reprogramming to Motor Neurons to Elucidate Selective Motor Neuron Death in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Unpublished). In: Swiss RNA Workshop 2014. Bern, Schweiz. 24.01.2014.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive motor neuron disease, fatal within 1 to 5 years after onset of symptoms. About 3 out of 100’000 persons are diagnosed with ALS and there is still no cure available [1, 2]. 95% of all cases occur sporadically and the aetiology remains largely unknown [3]. However, up to now 16 genes were identified to play a role in the development of familial ALS. One of these genes is FUS that encodes for the protein fused in sarcoma (FUS). Mutations in this gene are responsible for some cases of sporadic as well as of inherited ALS [4]. FUS belongs to the family of heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoproteins and is predicted to be involved in several cellular functions like transcription regulation, RNA splicing, mRNA transport in neurons and microRNA processing [5] Aberrant accumulation of mutated FUS has been found in the cytoplasm of motor neurons from ALS patients [6]. The mislocalization of FUS is based on a mutation in the nuclear localization signal of FUS [7]. However, it is still unclear if the cytoplasmic localization of FUS leads to a toxic gain of cytoplasmic function and/or a loss of nuclear function that might be crucial in the course of ALS. The goal of this project is to characterize the impact of ALS-associated FUS mutations on in vitro differentiated motor neurons. To this end, we edit the genome of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) using transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) [8,9] to create three isogenic cell lines, each carrying an ALS-associated FUS mutation (G156E, R244C and P525L). These iPSC’s will then be differentiated to motor neurons according to a recently established protocol [10] and serve to study alterations in the transcriptome, proteome and metabolome upon the expression of ALS-associated FUS. With this approach, we hope to unravel the molecular mechanism leading to FUS-associated ALS and to provide new insight into the emerging connection between misregulation of RNA metabolism and neurodegeneration, a connection that is currently implied in a variety of additional neurological diseases, including spinocerebellar ataxia 2 (SCA-2), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), fragile X syndrome, and myotonic dystrophy. [1] Cleveland, D.W. et al. (2001) Nat Rev Neurosci 2(11): 806-819 [2] Sathasivam, S. (2010) Singapore Med J 51(5): 367-372 [3] Schymick, J.C. et al. (2007) Hum Mol Genet Vol 16: 233-242 [4] Pratt, A.J. et al. (2012). Degener Neurol Neuromuscul Dis 2012(2): 1-14 [5] Lagier-Tourenne, C. Hum Mol Genet, 2010. 19(R1): p. R46-64 [6] Mochizuki, Y. et al. (2012) J Neurol Sci 323(1-2): 85-92 [7] Dormann, D. et al. (2010) EMBO J 29(16): 2841-2857 [8] Hockemeyer, D. et al. (2011) Nat Biotech 29(8): 731-734 [9] Joung, J.K. and J.D. Sander (2013) Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol 14(1): 49-55 [10]Amoroso, M.W. et al. (2013) J Neurosci 33(2): 574-586.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


08 Faculty of Science > Departement of Chemistry and Biochemistry

UniBE Contributor:

Ruepp, Marc-David


500 Science > 570 Life sciences; biology
500 Science > 540 Chemistry




Christina Schüpbach

Date Deposited:

09 Feb 2015 08:29

Last Modified:

09 Feb 2015 08:29


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