Understanding the role of NEAT1 in MND

Investigating how NEAT1 and paraspeckle structures might modulate the toxicity seen in motor neurons in MND and shed new light on the role they play in the disease

Tatyana lab coat

Lead Investigator: Dr Tatyana Shelkovnikova

Lead Institution: Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience

MND Association Funding: £389,513* - Senior Non-Clinical Fellowship

Funding dates: September 2018 - May 2023

*Supported by the Lady Edith Wolfson Fellowship Programme

About the project

An RNA molecule called NEAT1 forms the scaffolding of small compartments in a cell’s nucleus (called paraspeckle). It has been suggested the way NEAT1 is created may be altered and that these changes might be common to both sporadic and familial MND and differentiate them from FTD. This project will model NEAT1 in human motor neurons and fruit flies and observe how it responds to stress and toxicity within neurons. Understanding the adverse processes regulated by NEAT1 might provide a potential target for therapy.

What does this mean for people living with MND?

Discovering the role that NEAT1 and paraspeckles may play in the development and progression of MND could highlight new potential therapeutic targets, enabling further investigations into possible new treatments for MND.

Being an MND Association Senior Non-Clinical Fellow has boosted my career in many ways; with this support, I was able to start building my research group and an independent research profile. I hope that in a few years' time, my studies enabled by this scheme will be translated into patient impact.

Project code: 968-799