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Muscle Nerve. 2010 Jan;41(1):5-17. doi: 10.1002/mus.21428.

RNA processing defects associated with diseases of the motor neuron.

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Department of Neurology, Ohio State University Medical Center, Hamilton Hall, Room 337B, 1645 Neil Avenue, Columbus, Ohio 43210-1228, USA.


Rapid progress in the discovery of motor neuron disease genes in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, the spinal muscular atrophies, hereditary motor neuropathies, and lethal congenital contracture syndromes is providing new perspectives and insights into the molecular pathogenesis of the motor neuron. Motor neuron disease genes are often expressed throughout the body with essential functions in all cells. A survey of these functions indicates that motor neurons are uniquely sensitive to perturbations in RNA processing pathways dependent on the interaction of specific RNAs with specific RNA-binding proteins, which presumably result in aberrant formation and function of ribonucleoprotein complexes. This review provides a summary of currently recognized RNA processing defects linked to human motor neuron diseases.

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