CGG repeat RNA G-quadruplexes interact with FMRpolyG to cause neuronal dysfunction in fragile X-related tremor/ataxia syndrome

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  13 Jan 2021:
Vol. 7, no. 3, eabd9440
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abd9440


Fragile X-related tremor/ataxia syndrome (FXTAS) is a neurodegenerative disease caused by CGG triplet repeat expansions in FMR1, which elicit repeat-associated non-AUG (RAN) translation and produce the toxic protein FMRpolyG. We show that FMRpolyG interacts with pathogenic CGG repeat-derived RNA G-quadruplexes (CGG-G4RNA), propagates cell to cell, and induces neuronal dysfunction. The FMRpolyG polyglycine domain has a prion-like property, preferentially binding to CGG-G4RNA. Treatment with 5-aminolevulinic acid, which is metabolized to protoporphyrin IX, inhibited RAN translation of FMRpolyG and CGG-G4RNA–induced FMRpolyG aggregation, ameliorating aberrant synaptic plasticity and behavior in FXTAS model mice. Thus, we present a novel therapeutic strategy to target G4RNA prionoids.

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text

Stay Connected to Science Advances