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A joint research group in Japan reproduced amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) symptoms in zebrafish by remotely controlling a disease-associated protein molecule with light.
In ALS, motor neurons progressively degenerate and accumulate inclusions containing an aggregated form of the TDP-43 protein. Researchers at Tokyo Medical University and the National Institute of Genetics in Mishima devised a new TDP-43 variant by attaching human TDP-43 to a plant protein that forms protein aggregates when it absorbs blue light. This light-controlled optogenetic (op)TDP-43 functions normally as TDP-43 in the dark, but gradually forms aggregates when illuminated by blue light.
The researchers focused on the motor neurons of zebrafish…READ MORE