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Am J Neurodegener Dis. 2014 Mar 28;3(1):1-18. eCollection 2014.

C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeats in behavioral and motor neuron disease: clinical heterogeneity and pathological diversity.

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Department of Neurology, University of California San Francisco, CA, USA.
Department of Molecular and Cell Biology and Howard Hughes Medical Institute, University of California at Berkeley Berkeley, CA, USA.


Hexanucleotide repeat expansion in C9ORF72 is the most common genetic cause of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), a predominantly behavioral disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease of motor neurons. The primary objectives of this review are to highlight the clinical heterogeneity associated with C9ORF72 pathogenic expansion and identify potential molecular mechanisms underlying selective vulnerability of distinct neural populations. The proposed mechanisms by which C9ORF72 expansion causes behavioral and motor neuron disease highlight the emerging role of impaired RNA and protein homeostasis in a spectrum of neurodegeneration and strengthen the biological connection between FTD and ALS.


C9ORF72; RNA; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; frontotemporal dementia; motor neuron disease; protein trafficking


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