Thursday, May 28, 2015

Fly study related to ALS points to possible new direction for therapeutic development

Chang JC, Hazelett DJ, Stewart JA, Morton DB. Motor neuron expression of the voltage-gated calcium channel cacophony restores locomotion defects in a Drosophila, TDP-43 loss of function model of ALS. Brain Res. 2014 Oct 10;1584:39-51. PMID: 24275199; PMCID: PMC4031311.

From the abstract: "Dysfunction of the RNA-binding protein, TDP-43, is strongly implicated as a causative event in many neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ... Using Drosophila melanogaster to model TDP-43 loss of function, we show that reduced levels of the voltage-gated calcium channel, cacophony, mediate some of the physiological effects of TDP-43 loss. ... Restoring the levels of cacophony in all neurons or selectively in motor neurons rescued these locomotion defects. ... If similar effects of cacophony or related calcium channels are found in human ALS patients, these could be targets for the development of pharmacological therapies for ALS."

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