CLIP-Seq analysis enables the design of protective ribosomal RNA bait oligonucleotides against C9ORF72 ALS/FTD poly-GR pathophysiology

Juan A. Ortega, Ivan R. Sasselli, Marco Boccitto, Andrew C. Fleming, Tyler R. Fortuna, Yichen Li, Kohei Sato, Tristan D. Clemons, Elizabeth D. McKenna, Thao P. Nguyen, Eric N. Anderson, Jesus Asin, Justin K. Ichida, Udai B. Pandey, Sandra L. Wolin, Samuel I. Stupp, Evangelos Kiskinis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia patients with a hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 (C9-HRE) accumulate poly-GR and poly-PR aggregates. The pathogenicity of these arginine-rich dipeptide repeats (R-DPRs) is thought to be driven by their propensity to bind low-complexity domains of multivalent proteins. However, the ability of R-DPRs to bind native RNA and the significance of this interaction remain unclear. Here, we used computational and experimental approaches to characterize the physicochemical properties of R-DPRs and their interaction with RNA. We find that poly-GR predominantly binds ribosomal RNA (rRNA) in cells and exhibits an interaction that is predicted to be energetically stronger than that for associated ribosomal proteins. Critically, modified rRNA “bait” oligonucleotides restore poly-GR–associated ribosomal deficits and ameliorate poly-GR toxicity in patient neurons and Drosophila models. Our work strengthens the hypothesis that ribosomal function is impaired by R-DPRs, highlights a role for direct rRNA binding in mediating ribosomal dysfunction, and presents a strategy for protecting against C9-HRE pathophysiological mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbereadf7997
JournalScience Advances
Volume9
Issue number45
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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