Cells, Vol. 12, Pages 1443: Roles of Aging, Circular RNAs, and RNA Editing in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Potential Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets

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Cells, Vol. 12, Pages 1443: Roles of Aging, Circular RNAs, and RNA Editing in the Pathogenesis of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Potential Biomarkers and Therapeutic Targets

Cells doi: 10.3390/cells12101443

Authors:
Takashi Hosaka
Hiroshi Tsuji
Shin Kwak

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an incurable motor neuron disease caused by upper and lower motor neuron death. Despite advances in our understanding of ALS pathogenesis, effective treatment for this fatal disease remains elusive. As aging is a major risk factor for ALS, age-related molecular changes may provide clues for the development of new therapeutic strategies. Dysregulation of age-dependent RNA metabolism plays a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of ALS. In addition, failure of RNA editing at the glutamine/arginine (Q/R) site of GluA2 mRNA causes excitotoxicity due to excessive Ca2+ influx through Ca2+-permeable α-amino-3-hydroxy-5-methyl-4-isoxazole propionic acid receptors, which is recognized as an underlying mechanism of motor neuron death in ALS. Circular RNAs (circRNAs), a circular form of cognate RNA generated by back-splicing, are abundant in the brain and accumulate with age. Hence, they are assumed to play a role in neurodegeneration. Emerging evidence has demonstrated that age-related dysregulation of RNA editing and changes in circRNA expression are involved in ALS pathogenesis. Herein, we review the potential associations between age-dependent changes in circRNAs and RNA editing, and discuss the possibility of developing new therapies and biomarkers for ALS based on age-related changes in circRNAs and dysregulation of RNA editing.

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