Identification of Tau Stem Loop RNA Stabilizers

Donahue CP, Ni J, Rozners E, Glicksman MA, Wolfe MS
Journal of Biomolecular Screening - vol. 12 789-799 (2007)

Journal of Biomolecular Screening

Alternative splicing of tau exon 10 produces tau isoforms with either 3 (3R) or 4 (4R) repeated microtubule-binding domains. Increased ratios of 4R to 3R tau expression, above the physiological 1:1, leads to neurofibrillary tangles and causes neurode-generative disease. An RNA stem loop structure plays a significant role in determining the ratio, with decreasing stability cor-relating with an increase in 4R tau mRNA expression. Recent studies have shown that aminoglycosides are able to bind and stabilize the tau stem loop in vitro, suggesting that other druglike small molecules could be identified and that such molecules might lead to decreased exon 10 splicing in vivo. The authors have developed a fluorescent high-throughput fluorescent bind-ing assay and screened a library of ∼110,000 compounds to identify candidate drugs that will bind the tau stem loop in vitro. In addition, they have developed a fluorescent-based RNA probe to assay the stabilizing effects of candiate drugs on the tau stem loop RNA. These assays should be applicable to the general problem of identifying small molecules that interact with mRNA secondary structures. (Journal of Biomolecular Screening XXXX:xx-xx)

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