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Disease Markers
Volume 32 (2012), Issue 4, Pages 211-220

Two Potential Biomarkers Identified in Mesenchymal Stem Cells and Leukocytes of Patients with Sporadic Amyotrophic lateral Sclerosis

Henny Nachmany,1 Shane Wald,1 Michal Abekasis,1 Shlomo Bulvik,2 and Miguel Weil1

1Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Personalized Medicine, Department of Cell Research and Immunology, The George S. Wise Faculty of Life Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
2Hematology Department, Laniado Hospital, Netanya, Israel

Received 15 March 2012; Accepted 15 March 2012

Copyright © 2012 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal, neurodegenerative disorder caused by degeneration of motor neurons. The cause for most cases of ALS is multi-factorial,this enhances the need to characterize and isolate specific biomarkers found in biological samples from ALS patients. To this end we use human mesenchymal stem cells (hMSC) derived from the bone marrow of six ALS patients (ALS hMSC) and identified two genes, Cytoplasmic FMR Interacting Protein 2 (CyFIP2) and Retinoblastoma (Rb) Binding Protein 9 (RbBP9) with a significant decrease in post transcriptional A to I RNA editing compared to hMSC of healthy individuals. At the transcriptional level we show abnormal expression of these two genes in ALS hMSC by quantitative real time-PCR (qRT-PCR) and Western blot suggesting a problem in the regulation of these genes in ALS. To strengthen this view we tested by qRT-PCR the expression of these genes in peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) isolated from blood samples of 17 ALS patients and found that CyFIP2 and RbBP9 levels of expression were significantly different compared to the levels of expression of these two genes in 19 normal PBL samples. Altogether we found two novel ALS potential biomarkers in non-neural tissues from ALS patients that may have direct diagnostic and therapeutic implications to the disease.