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Characterization of MATR3 Mutations Associated with ALS

Principal Investigator:
  • Jeehye Park, University of Toronto
  • ALS Society of Canada

Project Overview

For this project, Dr. Park will examine how abnormalities in RNA binding proteins (RBPs) – in particular, one called Matrin 3 (MATR3) – can lead to ALS. MATR3 was discovered to be a genetic cause of ALS in 2014 and has yet to be studied in any detail. By creating the first-ever cell, fruit fly and mouse models of MATR3, Dr. Park will learn both about the functions of MATR3 and how mutations can confer motor neuron degeneration. Dr. Park will then search for other genes that may increase or reduce mutant MATR3 toxicity in both human cells and fruit fly models to find potential targets for treatment, and follow up with the most promising candidates being tested in the new MATR3 mouse models with an aim to eventually move them forward translationally into the clinic.