Using Bone Marrow to Hunt Down ALS Biomarkers

Dr. Miguel Weil, a professor at Tel Aviv University’s Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Personalized Medicine in the Department of Cell Research and Immunology, along with his research group recently used stem cells derived from bone marrow to identify four genetic biomarkers that are specific to sporadic ALS. The researchers compared stem cells from both healthy individuals and people with ALS to determine if they could identify any genetic markers specific to ALS. From this comparison, they identified four genes: Cytoplasmic FMR-Interacting Protein 2 (CyFIP2), Retinoblastoma (Rb) Binding Protein 9 (RbBP9), human secretory leukocyte protease inhibitor (SLPI) and the TAR DNA binding protein 43 (TDP-43) that showed differential expression patterns in ALS patients as compared to normal controls. The CyFIP2 and RbBP9 findings were described in the group’s recent Disease Markers article, and the SLPI and TDP-43 findings were described in a recent Human Molecular Genetics publication. The group is currently interested in screening for potential drugs that could affect the expression of these four genes. Click here to read the full story.

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