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This article is the author’s final published version in Scientific Reports, Volume 12, Issue 1, April 2022, Article number 5644.

The published version is available at Copyright © Verdone et al.


Translation of the hexanucleotide G4C2 expansion associated with C9orf72 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (ALS/FTD) produces five different dipeptide repeat protein (DPR) species that can confer toxicity. There is yet much to learn about the contribution of a single DPR to disease pathogenesis. We show here that a short repeat length is sufficient for the DPR poly-GR to confer neurotoxicity in vitro, a phenomenon previously unobserved. This toxicity is also reported in vivo in our novel knock-in mouse model characterized by widespread central nervous system (CNS) expression of the short-length poly-GR. We observe sex-specific chronic ALS/FTD-like phenotypes in these mice, including mild motor neuron loss, but no TDP-43 mis-localization, as well as motor and cognitive impairments. We suggest that this model can serve as the foundation for phenotypic exacerbation through second-hit forms of stress.

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