Simplified News: Protein hRNPA2
(Part of Living Poem)
They discovered another protein that causes
Clumping attributed to ALS—
An enzyme that keys into RNA
With sets of changeable key-like-shapes
Held in “low-complexity domains.”
The RNA pops “membraneless organelles,”
Like dots of oil, into watery cells,
As a method of resource download.
But when the code miscues a molecule,
The process expresses dead stress granules.
Adding RNA, claim doctors at Scripps
Dissolves RNA-made aggregates.
“It’s like a double agent,” says a research assistant.
RNA bonds with a protein, then disses it.
“It’s odd," doctors nod, and to be more specific:
A high dose of RNA causes a vacuole
To form within a droplet and expand until
The hole’s the whole deal. Scripps plans to target
Drops of mutant FUS, an ALS culprit
In the clumping of stress-reducing granules.
--Rob Neufeld, 2018