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Annu Rev Neurosci. 2006;29:259-77.

RNA-mediated neuromuscular disorders.

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Institute of Human Genetics and Department of Genetics, Cell Biology & Development, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455, USA.


Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is caused by a CTG expansion mutation located in the 3' untranslated portion of the dystrophica myotonin protein kinase gene. The identification and characterization of RNA-binding proteins that interact with expanded CUG repeats and the discovery that a similar transcribed but untranslated CCTG expansion in an intron causes myotonic dystrophy type 2 (DM2) have uncovered a new type of mechanism in which microsatellite expansion mutations cause disease through an RNA gain-of-function mechanism. This review discusses RNA pathogenesis in DM1 and DM2 and evidence that similar mechanisms may play a role in a growing number of dominant noncoding expansion disorders, including fragile X tremor ataxia syndrome (FXTAS), spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8), SCA10, SCA12, and Huntington's disease-like 2 (HDL2).

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