Gene expression analysis of frontotemporal lobar degeneration of the motor neuron disease type with ubiquitinated inclusions

Manjari Mishra*, Tatjana Paunesku, Gayle E. Woloschak, Teepu Siddique, Lihua Zhu, Simon Lin, Kristin Greco, Eileen H. Bigio

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


Neurodegenerative disorders share a process of aggregation of insoluble protein. Frontotemporal lobar degeneration with ubiquitinated inclusions (FTLD-U) is characterized by the presence of ubiquitin and TDP-43 positive aggregates which are likely related to specific gene expression profiles. We carried out gene expression microarray analysis on post-mortem brain tissue from FTLD-U, FTLD-MND, and controls. Using total RNA from carefully dissected frontal cortical layer II, we obtained gene expression profiles showing that FTLD-U and controls differ in over 100 networks, including those involved in synapse formation, the ubiquitin-proteasome system, endosomal sorting, and apoptosis. We performed qRT-PCR validation for three genes, representative of three different networks. Dynein axonemal light intermediate chain 1 (DNALI1) (microtubule/cytoskeleton network associated) expression was 3-fold higher and myeloid differentiation primary response gene 88 (MYD88) (signal transduction network) was 3.3 times higher in FTLD-U than FTLD-MND and controls; annexin A2 (ANXA2) (endosomal sorting) expression was 11.3-fold higher in FTLD-U than FTLD-MND and 2.3-fold higher than controls. The identification of progranulin (PGRN) gene mutations and TDP-43 as the major protein component of the ubiquitinated inclusions, are two recent landmark discoveries in the field of FTLD-U. We found 1.5-fold increase in TDP-43 in both FTLD-MND and FTLD-U while progranulin showed no gene expression differences between controls and FTLD-MND. However, one of the FTLD-U cases tested by Affymetrix microarray showed "absence call" of this transcript, suggesting absent or decreased gene expression. Our findings point to specific gene-linked-pathways which may be influenced by neurodegenerative disease process and may be targeted for further exploration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-94
Number of pages14
JournalActa Neuropathologica
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2007


  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Dementia
  • Frontotemporal lobar degeneration
  • Gene expression
  • Microarray
  • Motor neuron disease
  • Ubiquitin
  • qRT-PCR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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