Aging-related neurodegenerative diseases are progressive and fatal neurological diseases that are characterized by irreversible neuron loss and gliosis. With a growing population of aging individuals, there is a pressing need to better understand the basic biology underlying these diseases. Although diverse disease mechanisms have been implicated in neurodegeneration, a common theme of altered RNA processing has emerged as a unifying contributing factor to neurodegenerative disease. RNA processing includes a series of distinct processes, including RNA splicing, transport and stability, as well as the biogenesis of non-coding RNAs. Here, we highlight how some of these mechanisms are altered in neurodegenerative disease, including the mislocalization of RNA-binding proteins and their sequestration induced by microsatellite repeats, microRNA biogenesis alterations and defective tRNA biogenesis, as well as changes to long-intergenic non-coding RNAs. We also highlight potential therapeutic interventions for each of these mechanisms.
Keywords: Disease; Microsatellite repeats; RNA; RNA binding proteins; lncRNA; miRNA; tRNA.
© 2017. Published by The Company of Biologists Ltd.