A lncRNA survey finds increases in neuroprotective LINC‐PINT in Parkinson’s disease substantia nigra
Authors: Alon Simchovitz, Mor Hanan, Nadav Yayon, Songhua Lee, Estelle R. Bennett, David S. Greenberg, Sebastian Kadener, Hermona Soreq
Published in PLOS Computational Biology, November 2019
Parkinson’s disease is the most common motor neurodegenerative disorder, resulting from the selective destruction of dopamine-secreting nerve cells in a brain region called substantia nigra. However, why those neurons die, is still unknown. The recently discovered class of genes called long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), play a role in many physiological and pathological conditions. We studied how lncRNA changes in the substantia nigra by analyzing post-mortem brain tissue from Parkinson’s disease patients. We discovered the accumulation of the LINC-PINT lncRNA in the substantia nigra of Parkinson’s patients as well as in several other models of Parkinson’s disease. LINC-PINT is expressed in neurons, and its levels are correlated with the complexity of the neuronal network. By knocking down LINC-PINT in cultured neurons, we found a protective role for these molecules against oxidative stress, a known phenomenon in Parkinson’s disease. Taken together, our findings suggest a protective role for LINC-PINT in Parkinson’s disease, as well as in other neurodegenerative diseases.