In this talk, Dr. Meredith Course presents her research on uncovering a 69-bp human-specific tandem repeat expansion in the final intron of WDR7. Larger repeat copy number is significantly associated with sporadic ALS cases, suggesting that it plays a role in disease susceptibility. Long-read sequencing reveals remarkable internal nucleotide variation, which was harnessed to determine the evolutionary origin of the expansion, its mechanism of replication, and its current state in modern-day humans. Each copy of the repeat has been determined to be able to form microRNAs and aggregate in cells and may sequester ALS-related RNA-binding proteins.
June 15, 2021 | Presentation