An Analysis of RNA Solubility in Human Spinal Cord Samples from ALS Patients
Chloe Rozalsky, Paradise Valley High School (CREST Bioscience), High School Student
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, heterogeneous neurodegenerative disease, causes nerve cell breakdown within the brain and spinal cord. RNA-binding protein TDP-43, contributes to 97% of ALS cases. TDP-43 recognizes UG-rich (Uracil and Guanine) sequences preferentially, prompting the question: Does UG richness play a role in RNA solubility in Human ALS spinal cord samples? Differential expression analysis was conducted on RNA sequenced from soluble and insoluble fractions of post-mortem spinal cord samples from an ALS patient. Average UG richness calculated for individual cDNAs between whole genome, soluble and insoluble fractions was compared, with and without sequence length normalization. Insoluble genes were generally more UG rich, though longer than soluble counterparts. After normalization, longer transcripts appear more likely to be insolubilized than shorter transcripts.